Gutted by a myriad of salary cap issues this offseason, the New York Rangers are reportedly still looking to add more girth to their lineup. In the course of shopping the NHL's bargain bin, the club has reportedly spoken with former Pittsburgh Penguins and Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ryan Malone, according to Minneapolis Star Tribune reporter Mike Russo.
Russo says Malone, who was taking part in Octagon agency's pre-training camp skates in Minnesota recently, looked good at the on-ice workouts.
The 34-year-old power forward has struggled to stay healthy in recent seasons and was the target of a compliance buyout by the Lightning this past June. The veteran depth winger scored five goals and chipped in 15 points in 57 games with the Lightning, but his off-season was derailed by a DUI and cocaine possession charge in mid-April.
Last week Malone pleaded no contest to the DUI charge, and the possession charge will be dismissed once he completes a pre-trail intervention program.
The Rangers currently have 12 forwards signed to one-way contracts, and have brought in a handful of low-risk gambles like Matthew Lombardi and Lee Stempniak already this summer. At the right price, Malone could be an intriguing reclamation project for a club desperate for additional forward depth.
There's also some familiarity between several Rangers players and Malone, as SNYRangersBlog.com points out, the veteran winger has previously played with Rangers forwards Dominic Moore and Martin St. Louis, as well as newly signed Rangers swingman Michael Kostka.
Rangers general manager Glen Sather is also known to be cut from forgiving cloth.
"As a general philosophy, I believe people deserve a second chance," Sather said during a conversation with New York Post columnist Larry Brooks about interviewing controversial task master Mike Keenan for a head coaching job back in 2000.