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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.

UPDATE
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.

UPDATE 2

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.

UPDATE 3

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.

Reader Comments

Por (stewart hamilton) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

That is great news for the fans and team . The new owners are riding the wave and are working to get us back to the playoffs. I am a season ticket holder and drive from Orlando for every game. That will make my drive alot better knowing that we have a better team to go see play this year.

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Por (Mitchell Margo) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I think this is an excellent signing.  I think we get a guy for the prime of his career.  I love the 7 year deal.  And for everyone who says we overpaid, WHO CARES, we got the guy we wanted, maybe for an extra million but as it stands right our cap is at around 43-46 million (counting prospal,malone,roberts) and we still have money left for another top 6 foward for 3-5 million, a top 4 d-man for 2-4 million, and a goalie for 1-3 million. I love all the moves this new ownership is making and i think the lightning are going to have a legitimate shot at the cup next year and for many years to come.

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Por (Will Amordecroix) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Great move, if it really goes through. Roberts I can live without, but Malone(!). Just what this team needs, assuming they really are comfortable in goal.

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Por (Mike Joyce) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Great moves.  This will set up the top two lines by giving us both scoring and grit.  Both have been sadly lacking in the last few years.

Now, let’s see where we stand for goal tending and defense.

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Por (Ruthe) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Looks like Malone will fit in nicely. He has a great personality. Check out interviews he does on YouTube with his teammates.  Imagine a clubhouse with him and Roy(if Roy stays here) They’ll be fighting for the microphone. He’s a gritty player and Lord knows the Bolts need that.

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Por (Eric) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Malone is a great move by the team. Now the team really has two strong offensive lines and not a bad third line.

What we will need to decide now is do we go after some defensive players, which Smith could really use in front of him. Or do we go after a goaltender that makes any defense look good. Here is a hint…...we are going for defense…Smith is a good goaltender with the right people in front of him this team could become an instant success.

Things are looking up in HOCKEY BAY!!!

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Por (Goalman) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Couldn’t be happier. These moves put faith back into this team. I’m really excited. Malone is the kind of player we need and Roberts will provide maturity and steadiness for the younger players( as I mentioned in a previous blog, the move could be compared with getting Dave A.).
Now if we can bring in a defenseman to relace Kuba, I’ll be ecstatic.

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Por (TJ Robinson) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Well according to TSN.ca, it’s about as done as it gets until it’s signed, sealed and delivered to the league office.  Here’s the link:

http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=242037&lid=headline&lpos=topStory_main

And according to TSN (yes, we have to remember where this is coming from and nothing “official” has been released yet), but the contract appears to be front-loaded (or maybe I’m reading it wrong) and he’s gonna get between 7-8 mil in the first 2 years of the contract…

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Por (WaiverWire) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

And now the Star Tribune is reoprting we trade for the rights to Brian Rolston

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Por (Jordan Gault) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

I just read that too. I think it would be useless to trade for Rolston’s rights unless the Lightning dont really give up much. They would only have a day before free agency to sign him…

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Por (Rob B.) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts BOTH must be done deals.  They are both listed on the team roster (Roberts #10 & Malone #12) at the Tampa Bay Lightning website:

http://lightning.nhl.com/team/app?service=page&page=TeamPlayers&type=roster

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Por (Ruthe) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Roberts and Malone have been listed on the team roster on the Lightning website for two days.  Must have known they were going to get them. Mike Sullivan is also listed as assistant coach. Is he staying?

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Por (shale) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

This would be a coup if they can pull of the Rolston move.  I do believe that Walz has been playing with him the past few years and would find it hard to believe again that the OK group would make a move without feeling pretty confidant about signing him.  This is where “BARRIE” is vital, his connections within the hockey world must be unlimited.  Truly things are looking up over there at Channelside Drive

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Por (Mike Joyce) on June 29, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Goalman, we are on the same page with Kuba.  Does he remind you of any other Czech defenseman with a similar name?

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Por (Slapshot) on June 30, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Malone wanted to be in Tampa because of his ties with Brian Lawton and was willing to take less for a longer contract.  Unless he’s on a line with Vinny the ‘Ning might have overpaid.

Can’t say enough good things about what Roberts did for the young players in Pittsburgh by setting an example day in and day out about dedication and commitment.  Tampa was the only team that was going to offer him close to what he made last season despite the fact that he’s clearly out of gas.  He won’t show up on the scoresheet and isn’t playing 82 games, but I tip my cap to him anyway.

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Por (Justin) on June 30, 2008 (Suggest removal)

ROFL!!!! Where are all those people with their comments about first time owners who don’t know what their doing, and how they don’t need some hollywood guy selling hockey.

I think OK Hockey turned things up to 11. The way our potential roster looks we can pretty much bank on having the 08-09 eastern all star team being the lightning roster (yes i’m over exaggerating).

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Por (LightningRod) on June 30, 2008 (Suggest removal)

Time for some of the naysayers, who have been running down Koules/Barrie here even to the point of saying they didn’t have the money to buy the team, to eat some big time crow. To the dead dog kickers, who will never stop, because they live in the past, let me know when and how much OK has to do to please you. I for one am looking forward to the upcoming season. OK has shown me that they intend to do what it takes to win.

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