Report: Malone, Penguins ‘kicking tires’

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According to a report in the Pittsburgh Tribune, general manager Jim Rutherford has had discussions with the agent representing former Penguins’ forward Ryan Malone.

Malone, you might remember,  was bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning after being arrested for driving under the influence and cocaine possession in April.

The 34-year-old Pittsburgh native was originally a fourth round selection of the Penguins (115th overall in 1999) and spent three seasons with Pittsburgh losing to the Detroit Red Wings in the 2008 Stanley Cup final.

“I have talked to Pittsburgh about him throughout the summer,” Malone’s agent, Mike Liut told the paper. “They’re kicking tires. They’ve expressed some interest, but it’s just that. Which is fine. There isn’t anything where I can say, ‘Hey, this is what we’re going to do.’ Hopefully I can next week.”

As Jason Mackey points out in his piece, the Penguins have already brought in Steve Downie and Daniel Carcillo is attending camp on a professional tryout so it’s hard to see where another project in Malone would fit in.

Malone has scored 20 or more goals six times in his career, but just once in the past four seasons.

“We don’t close the door on anything,” Rutherford said.

Mackey suggests the New York Rangers could also be a suitor for the free agent.

Related: Former Lightning forward Malone ‘shocked’ he had cocaine