Penguins ownership has signed off on making a camp invite to former Penguin Ryan Malone to training camp, Inside Pittsburgh Sports has learned. Malone has been a point of discussion in the organization over the last couple weeks and high ranking members of the organization, including ownership have been involved in those discussions because of Malone’s off ice issues.
With ownership’s blessing, Penguins management is now giving strong consideration to officially inviting Malone to training camp, assuming he is reinstated by the NHL before camp opens.
No official invite will be made until Malone is reinstated, according to a source. Malone has been working out in Minnesota where he has dropped over 25 pounds, sources tell Inside Pittsburgh Sports.
Penguins owner Mario Lemieux and Malone’s dad Greg Malone are close.
Barring new teams joining the mix, unlikely at this stage, Malone is expected to choose between joining the Penguins or New York Rangers for training camp, according to an NHL source. Interest in Malone has been minimal around the league.
The Rangers, though, have done extensive homework on Malone over the last month, discussing option of a tryout and two-way contract.
Rangers pro scout Rick Kehoe has been a driving force behind the Rangers willing to give Malone a chance and meeting with Malone in person in early August.
As for the Penguins, there’s obvious familiarity and Penguins assistant coach Rick Tocchet also coached Malone for two seasons in Tampa Bay. The Penguins are interested in bringing a veteran forward into camp to battle for a final roster spot with the group of young players in the mix.