I don't usually do "Part 2" of anything here.
I usually try to say it all in "Part 1" and then move on.
In reading the recent rumors and apparent "truths" about the Ryan Malone situation, I heard some things that I wanted to comment a little more about (even if nobody else reads this!!!!)
The "negotiations" with Malone and the Pens, and I use that term loosely because I am not sure how much "negotiating" has actually taken place, have gone pretty much as I expected.
Apparently, Malone was offered, by the Pens, money in the 3M/year range (term I am not sure of) and as I expected, he turned it down.
It also appears that the Pens then tried to trade his rights to the Blue Jackets...who were trying to lure Malone with money believed to be in the 4.5-5.5M/year range.
Malone apparently turned that down as well, saying he wanted to wait until July 1...to become unrestricted...and then see what happens.
From Malone's point of view...as far as money goes...it is absolutely the smartest thing he can do. Never again in his career (one would assume) will his market value be so high. If he does not take advantage of his peak market value, he may never again see this kind of interest ($$) from teams around the league.
As "smart" as this idea is financially, I think it will be a mistake for Malone to take one of these potential 4.5-5.5M/year offers that may come his way.
I can't help but look at Malone's situation and think "Marty Lapointe...ALL OVER AGAIN".
Marty had a great season for the Red Wings in 2000-01. He scored a career high 27 goals and 57 points. He entered free agency as a much sought after player. A player with character, grit, and determination, who could also score points. He landed 5M/year contract with the Bruins. A contract that many thought was an "overpayment" by Bruins management.
His career has never been the same.
A 5M/year price tag brings along with it certain expectations.
For a player like Lapointe, the "given" was that he would play hard and be a tough competitor. Guys get 2-3M a year to do that and score 30-40 points.
The additional "expectation" that 5M/year brings is that the 57 points from the year before was something that he could attain again and again (20-30 goals) .
He has not.
Lapointe is still a great character guy...who can contribute to the scoring sheet...but he never became the consistent 5M player OUTSIDE of Detroit.
I fear Malone is heading in the same direction.
Malone and Lapointe appear to be players that thrive in a certain environment. Both players took a little while to find their game, and just as they did, they moved (assuming Malone leaves the Pens) to a different team and had to find their game again in a new environment.
Sometimes, as in Lapointe's case, they never find the level of offensive performance again.
I am not sure of this...and can only guess that you could get an honest answer "off the record"...but I think if Marty were asked "If you could do it all over again, would you sign with the Bruins or try to work out a deal with the Wings?" - Marty would probably say..."Work out a deal with the Wings".
For both players, maybe the situation they were/are in is better than the one they will go to. When there's lots of $$ being waived at you, any situation you move into can seem "worth a shot". After all, how bad can it be if I am making 5M a year?
But once the hard work starts again, you might realize that it's better to be in that place where you have found a home...rather than the place you are getting paid more money to play in...but feels like you are always on the road.
Maybe it's better to be paid 3M/year and be thought of as worth 5M/year than it is to be paid 5M/year and to be thought of as worth 3M/year.
Maybe I have no idea what I am talking about.
In any case, I want to thank Ryan for everything he has done for the Pens. He's been EXACTLY what the team needed...EXACTLY when they needed it. I wish him nothing but the best!
BUT - I hope he decides to stay here...make a little less money...and have a better career...well at least that's what I think would happen.