It has been rumored recently that the Pittsburgh Penguins may trade their negotiating rights with Ryan Malone. However, Malone likely put an end to that rumor.

“We will not talk to anyone until July 1,” said Malone.

This is a true blow to the Penguins who had hoped to get an early draft pick in return for Malone’s rights. Columbus had been the leading candidates for a trade. Now that Malone made that statement, it is unlikely that any team would make a trade with the Penguins for his rights. Since he has announced that he will wait until the first day of free agency, there is no reason for anyone to trade for his rights.

UPDATE

According to Aaron Portzline, Ryan Malone has given hope to Blue Jacket fans who still want him on the team. He told The Dispatch, “I don’t want any team I go to to give up a possible teammate. So we will wait till the first.”

Do not get too excited though, Columbus.

Would he consider playing for Columbus?

“Yes. Yes I would. I am considering other teams as well.”

This is quite a slap in the face of the Penguins who had hoped to get something in return for Malone. Portzline believes that it is a move of revenge on the part of Malone for the Penguins low-balling him.

UPDATE 2
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette spoke with Malone’s agent, Mike Luit about Malone’s decision. Luit said that Malone was against his rights being traded. “Ryan doesn’t want to go down that road,” Liut said. “His preference would be to go ahead and go until July 1 [and become an unrestricted free agent].”

Against all speculation, Luit suggested that there is a chance that Malone will remain in Black and Gold, but it is unlikely. “He’s looking at better than a 50-50 chance right now that he’ll be changing teams,” Liut said. “We’ll see what happens in the next week or 10 days.”

Because Malone is waiting until July 1, the “better than a 50-50 chance” that he will no longer be a Penguin looks like a gross understatement. Hitting the open market will drive Malone’s price up and the Penguins are not likely to overpay because another team is doing so. They have too many other free-agents and big name players with which to concern themselves. Salary Cap-wise, they cannot afford to overpay Malone.