Lightning use second compliance buyout on Ryan Malone

By Brian Stubits |

Ryan Malone is done after six seasons in Tampa Bay. (Getty Images)
Ryan Malone is out after six seasons in Tampa Bay. (Getty Images)

More NHL Offseason: NHL rumors | Updating rumor mill | 2014-15 preseason odds

To help free up space for the new deal signed by Ryan Callahan, the Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday announced they are using their final compliance buyout on forward Ryan Malone.

In a move that was seen coming from a mile away, the Lightning are getting out from under the final season of Malone's contract, which was going to cost them $4.5 million against the salary cap. Now they will still pay him 2/3 of his salary but because of the compliance buyout, it won't be any cost to their cap.

The reasons to buy out Malone were plentiful. For starters, the Pittsburgh native saw his numbers pretty much fall off a cliff this season. He had 20 goals and 28 assists in 2011-12 but saw his numbers dip to five goals and 10 assists in 57 games for the Lightning with his time on ice plummeting to just 11:47 per game.

There was also the issue of fitness. Malone has had a hard time staying on the ice for a variety of reasons. In his six years with the Lightning he never played more 70 games in a season or more.

Lastly is the fact that Malone, 34, finds himself in some legal hot water. He was arrested in early April on charges of DUI and cocaine possession. He has pled not guilty to the charges but that didn't make his future much clearer.

This move doesn't come from out of left field. GM Steve Yzerman had talked about using the buyout on Malone already.

"Obviously injuries he's had, some serious injuries over the past three, four years since I've been with the organization, have limited the number of games that he could play," Yzerman said. "It does take its toll on a player. We're taking everything into consideration for the offseason in improving our team and we're looking at all different (options), whether it be the draft, free agency, trades, buyouts. We'll take it all into consideration."

Now Malone becomes an unrestricted free agent but it won't be a surprise if there's not a whole lot of interest in the Pittsburgh native.

The Lightning used their first compliance buyout last summer on Vincent Lecavalier.

CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
Conversation powered by Livefyre

nhl Video

August 3, 2015
Who will follow Crosby as NHL's best? (2:37)
July 31, 2015
Top NHL General Managers
July 31, 2015
Will the NHL go to Beijing in 2022?
July 30, 2015
Flyers sign Voracek to long-term extension


Most Popular Shop

Men's Nike Charcoal Denver Broncos Training Camp Performance T-Shirt

NFL Training Camp Gear
Get your favorite team
Shop Now

Picks and Projections
Get the latest picks and projections sent directly to your inbox!
Thank you for subscribing!
Be on the lookout for the latest picks, lines, projections and analysis in your inbox.