His name has been thrown around, quite casually, in casual trade speculation since 2009.
Ryan Malone has been a poker chip in play in the minds of media and fans alike. The reasoning has uaually been the contract of his, or the gritty intangibles and what he brings to the game and why other teams would want him... Or the fact he wasn't scoring many many goals, halting the competition dead, and saving the Princess from King Koopa in a timely fashiion.
Being played-up or played-down, Malone has been portrayed as expendable.
But Ryan has the last laugh. Sunday night revealed to the public that there is a clause in his contract, hindering movement. Something that can't casually be brushed off.
7-years was the focus at the time of deal. The length, and the payout of $30 million. That was the focus, so was the fact the Lightning had traded for Malone's rights to begin with. Ryan's addition underscored the raw charge (no relation) of OK Hockey's first off-season in control of the team.
The money, the big splash, the longevity of the deal, how high caliber the deal was... But no mention of a no-trade/no-movement clause.
There were no reports of a no-movement stipulation. As of this writing we're still not aware of the full context of the clause -- no movement (like what Vincent Lecavalier has) or no trade (which is supposed to be less iron-clad, control-your-own-destiny as the NMC is)? Whatever the case, the discussions involving Tomas Kaberle being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning thrust the clause into the spotlight. Ken Beckett tweeted:
Ryan Malone's agent Mike Liut tells me no substance to any rumours about Malone to the #Leafs. Has not been asked to waive NMC.
The fact Malone was supposedly available in Kaberle trade talks was not news. The Times reported as much over the weekend. No, it's the clause.
The clause was not reported with Malone's signing (as I already said), it had not been posted on CapGeek.com. It was a totally off the radar aspect of Malone's contract.
Is it necessarily a bad thing? Well, it kills speculation before it starts from this point forward Malone would have to approve where and when he gets shipped somewhere else. Others will see it as a hindrance much like Lecavalier's clause and the cap-hit that is attached to it.
At any rate, if nothing else came from the spectacle of futility of Brian Burke's attempt to offload Tomas Kaberle, it was the disclosure of this no-trade/no-movement clause on Malone's contract.