Pens cry 'mayday' on Malone
February 13, 2007
Ryan Malone's inability to put up points alongside Sidney Crosby earned him a demotion ... can a trade out of town be next?
The highly-touted Malone has only 18 points this season, good for 287th in the league, and has failed to get off a shot in three of his last five and six of his last 16 games.
"I thought I've been playing pretty well -- points-wise it's maybe not the numbers that people expected -- but the team in winning right now and that's the most important thing."
Win or not, the Pens need a player to perform consistently with the league scoring leader on the top line, and a trade may be the only way.
"We're certainly going to look at all of our players before looking outside the organization," Shero told the Pittsbugh Tribune Review. "I think our production with Sid and Recchi in particular has been outstanding ... and I think it's a good sign that the rest of the team has stepped up to contribute."
"I just know that (the trade) stuff is all out of my control," said Malone, who had a January meeting with Shero to discuss the trade rumours.
Playing on a line alongside Crosby isn't as easy as it might seem. So far, the Penguins have tried seven different players on Crosby's wings. Veteran Mark Recchi is the only Penguin to settle in to the role, attributing his success to similar style.
"It's not hard at all," Recchi said. "It's pretty fun to be a part of; he's a special player and plays a simple game. He goes up and down, he darts the holes, he gives and goes, and I play a very similar way."
Hey, go ahead and trade him - he's really done nothing the past 2 seasons other than the final 20 or so games last year. If they could get a guy like Shane Doan (as a couple of people in the comments mentioned), that would be ideal. Doan would be a GREAT fit on the top line, IMO - he's got good size, good hands, a physical presence and is capable of dropping the gloves to protect Crosby when needed. Hey Ray - if you're considering a major deal, make this one!