TAMPA – Tampa Bay Lightning fans get up close and personal with RW Ryan Malone in the upcoming edition of Sun Sports’ all-access series INISDE THE LIGHTNING. Hosted by Paul Kennedy, Inside the Lightning: Ryan Malone premieres Thursday, November 13 at 10:30 p.m. immediately following the Detroit Red Wings at Lightning game telecast on Sun Sports; multiple replays will air throughout the 2008-09 NHL season.
In telling his story, viewers will learn that Malone had the unique opportunity of being raised around professional hockey from the time he was born. His father, Greg, played seven seasons with the Pittsburgh Penguins. He recalls early childhood memories of meeting NHL superstar Mario Lemieux and being a part of the team’s Stanley Cup victories in the early 1990s; indelible impressions which helped solidify his commitment and love of the sport. In a fortuitous twist of fate, Ryan would follow in his father’s footsteps and play for the Penguins when the team selected him in the 1999 NHL Entry Draft. Father and son share how the astonishing scenario of actually playing for the same team was one they could have only imagined.
Before his professional career could begin, he left home during his junior year of high school to hone his skills at Shattuck-St. Mary’s in Faribault, Minnesota, coincidentally the same school later attended by future Penguin, Sidney Crosby. Inside the Lightning’s cameras traveled to West Point to catch up with former high school coach Brian Riley, who also comes from a recognizable hockey family dating back to the 1950s. Riley recalls the impressive hard work, maturity and dedication Malone exhibited as a young 16-year-old.
While attending college at St. Cloud State, Malone met his wife, Abby, who shares what life is like for the spouse of a professional player. The couple recently welcomed their first child this past February and they discuss the joy and importance of being first-time parents.
The toughness that hockey players exhibit night in and night out was on display when Malone took a puck to the face in Game 5 of the 2008 Stanley Cup Finals; playing for the Penguins against the Detroit Red Wings. He returned shortly thereafter to continue play in the game. Additional interviews include insight from Lightning head coach Barry Melrose, former Penguin teammates and current teammates Mark Recchi and Gary Roberts.