Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 06/13/14 at 11:08 AM ET
from Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times,
The veteran wing is a prime candidate for a compliance buyout, with Tampa Bay having one left after using its first on Vinny Lecavalier last summer. The buyout period begins Sunday, or two days after the Stanley Cup final ends, whichever is later, through June 30.
Neither Malone, 34, nor his agent, would comment, but he realizes he's a candidate....
"Obviously injuries he's had, some serious injuries over the past three, four years since I've been with the organization, have limited the number of games that he could play," Yzerman said. "It does take its toll on a player. We're taking everything into consideration for the offseason in improving our team and we're looking at all different (options), whether it be the draft, free agency, trades, buyouts. We'll take it all into consideration."
There are several reasons the Lightning could consider buying out the final year of Malone's contract, saving a $4.5 million cap hit, by spreading two-thirds of his $2.5 million salary ($1.67 million) evenly over two years.
There's Malone's legal issues, an arraignment scheduled Monday in Tampa as he faces charges of cocaine possession and driving under the influence stemming from April 12 arrest; he has pleaded not guilty.
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