Erik Erlendsson covers the Tampa Bay Lightning for The Tampa Tribune.
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Have Malone, Roberts signed? (Update #3)
Posted Jun 29, 2008 by Erik Erlendsson
Updated Jun 29, 2008 at 07:43 PM
I heard earlier in the day through the grapevine that Ryan Malone had informed the Lightning he fully intended to go the free agent route despite some late night negotiations with Tampa Bay after the Lightning acquired his rights from Pittsburgh on Saturday.
But now, this report coming from Sportsnet that the two sides are closing in on a long term deal that will exceed $30 million (must mean at least a six-year deal) with Malone while Roberts will sign a deal that could earn him up to $2 million, including potential bonuses. Sportsnet says the deal could be announced on Monday.
I’ve sent word out to my sources to find out what the deal is, but still waiting to hear back. I’ll keep you guys updated as well as I can today.
Sportsnet now reporting Malone will sign for $31 million over seven years (for those non-math majors like myself who required a calcultor for this, that averages at $4.43 per season which is under what he was reportedly looking for). Also got word from person who believes that the sides are close on both Roberts and Malone.
The SportsCentre update on TSN today suggests the contract for Malone is $31.5 million over seven years (again, using my calculator, that averages out to $4.5 million per season/cap hit) which again is under what the market suggested he would make, although the lenght of the deal is likely responsible for that. I have heard back from a couple of sources today, and while indications are that things are close and appear to be getting closer, nothing is finalized at this point. Doesn’t sound like we will get any kind of an official word tonight, I would expect that things will come to the forefront tomorrow.
Just a quick update folks, it sounds more and more like this is a done deal minus a signature by Malone on the dotted line. I’m still waiting to hear for any kind of on-the-record confirmation, but a lot of what I’m hearing right now indicates that something could be reached, at least on principle, by tonight. Owner Oren Koules has been unavailable for comment up to this point, assumably because he’s been speaking to Malone and/or his agent. Speaking of his agent, Mike Liut, I’m still waiting to hear back from him tonight to see what he has to say. Keep checking back, I’m hoping to maybe get further word later in the evening.