After reading that Ryan Malone had signed a 7 year, $31.5 million dollar deal on Sunday afternoon, I have to admit, I wasn’t overly surprised. The Bolts have made it be known they are going to be spending money, and all signs pointed to Malone getting a massive deal. Now that the deal is official, I can’t say I think it is a good one.
I just have one question:
Is Ryan Malone that much different than Jarret Stoll?
If provided with the career numbers for both of these players, it would be almost impossible to determine who’s who. Malone’s career points-per-game is 0.57; whereas Stoll’s career points-per-game is 0.58. Malone has played 299 career NHL games; whereas Stoll has played 286 career NHL games. Malone has averaged 18:10 minutes of ice-time over his career; whereas Stoll has averaged 17:00 minutes. Malone is a -27 +/- for his career; whereas Stoll is -12.
The list could go on and on, but the fact is that Malone is now making an average of $4.5 million per season and Stoll is coming off a season where he made $2.2 millon per season. Stoll will be hard pressed to make over $3 million next season. Without the public perception, these players’ production are shockingly similar.
If Stoll were to get a 7 year contract worth $31.5 million this off-season from the Kings, would you approve? Not likely. In fact, the NHL would almost certainly be in an uproar. Even though Stoll is actually three years younger than Malone, can play the point on the power play and takes face-offs. Not to mention Stoll has never played with linemates named Malkin or Crosby.
Sometimes perception is not reality.