TAMPA BAY – The Tampa Bay Lightning have acquired the rights to left wings Ryan Malone and Gary Roberts from Pittsburgh in exchange for a conditional draft pick in 2009, owners Oren Koules and Len Barrie announced. Should the Lightning sign Malone, Pittsburgh will receive Tampa Bay’s third-round pick in 2009 or they will receive Dallas’ fourth-round pick in 2009, previously acquired by the Lightning, if Tampa Bay is not able to sign Malone.
“We said earlier this week we would be aggressive in our pursuit of free agents in order to win and compete,” Koules said. “This trade today doesn’t guarantee anything, but we believe it gives us a leg up in our attempt to sign these two impact players.”
Malone, a 6-foot-4, 224-pound Pittsburgh native, played in 77 games with the Penguins last season and recorded 27 goals with 51 points. He also appeared in 20 Stanley Cup Playoff games in 2008 and tied for eighth in league scoring with six goals and 16 points as he helped Pittsburgh to the Stanley Cup Finals. Malone set career highs for goals, assists, points, power-play goals (11) and game-winning goals (6) in 2007-08. He led the team in game-winning goals, ranked fourth in goals and third in power-play goals, while also ranking fourth among Penguin forwards in average ice time with 19:04.
The 27-year-old has played in 299 career NHL games, all with the Penguins, and amassed 87 goals, 169 points, 27 power-play goals, 11 shorthanded goals and 11 game-winning goals. Malone scored at least 20 goals in three of four NHL seasons.
Roberts, a 20-year NHL veteran and former Stanley Cup Champion, played in 38 games with Pittsburgh last season. The three-time NHL All-Star recorded three goals and 15 points with 40 penalty minutes, and also played in 11 Stanley Cup Playoff games recording two goals and four points.
A 6-2, 215-pound native of North York, Ontario, Roberts is a veteran of 1,194 career games with Calgary, Carolina, Toronto, Florida and Pittsburgh. He has amassed 434 career goals, 903 points, 107 power play goals and 51 game-winning goals. He has broken the 20-goal barrier in 16 of his 20 seasons, including two 30-goal seasons, two 40-goal seasons and a 50-goal season. Roberts, 42, has played in 130 career playoff games, recording 32 goals and 93 points. He recorded 12 points in 22 playoff games as he helped the Calgary Flames capture the 1989 Stanley Cup title.