My parents live in an area where their cable provider has Pittsburgh news channels. We were watching KDKA news at 11pm when I found out that Ryan Malone had signed a deal with the Tampa Bay Lightning. I couldn't believe it when I heard the reported terms of Bugsy's deal (from The Sporting News):
Ryan Malone has signed a $31.5 million, seven-year contract with the Tampa Bay Lightning.WHAT?! The deal Gary Roberts scored was in line with what I figured he'd be getting, but Ryan Malone's deal is insane. I'm not hating on Malone now that he's no longer a Penguin, but the only explanation for this deal is that Tampa Bay must have more money than they know what to do with. Think about this - the Lightning are paying him almost as much as the Penguins are paying the league's best player for the next two years. MISTAKE.
The 28-year-old will reportedly earn between $7 million and $8 million in each of the first two years of the contract.
The Lightning traded a third-round pick in the 2009 draft to the Pittsburgh Penguins for exclusive negotiating rights with Malone and forward Gary Roberts on Saturday. According to reports late Sunday, Roberts had signed a one-year contract with the Lightning that could be worth as much as $2 million.
Last week the Lightning hired Greg Malone, Ryan's father, as their head pro scout.
No wonder Ray Shero didn't really try to stop Bugsy from leaving - Shero would much rather spend that money on a player who is actually worth $7 million next season. I have to admit that I'm quite shocked that Tampa Bay is willing to pay Malone so much money. Only time will tell if it turns out to be a sound investment on Oren Koules's part. For some perspective, check out Illegal Curve's analysis of the deal here.
I'd love to hear what you all think of Bugsy's deal. Do you disagree with me? Is Bugsy worth the big bucks? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.