Brad Malone was one of the few acquisitions the Carolina Hurricanes made over the long offseason. The physical forward is keenly aware of why the Canes signed him to two-year contract this summer and it's not necessarily to light the lamp.
Malone played 32 regular season and six playoff games for the Colorado Avalanche last season. While he only averaged 6:46 a game of ice time in the regular season, he finished with three goals, two assists, and 79 hits.
The newcomer was sitting alone as the rest of the media was crowded around Justin Faulk and other Canes during the beginning of "Media Day" on Thursday, but I was looking forward to see how he was fitting in so far and walked over to speak to him.
Malone just recently arrived to Raleigh, but has already been working out with his new teammates and has participated in the preseason skate sessions.
"I have just been here for a week and a half now, but it's been a very easy transition. Guys in the locker room have been great and so far everyone has been putting in a good word that I have spoken to. It's been great so far and I really love the area. The skates have been good. The guys have been putting us through some good pace to get us prepared for training camp."
I asked him about his offseason training.
"The summer has been very good. I think I was a little ahead of the game, training wise, the way the season ended last year, (Avs), and the transition from postseason to offseason was seamless. I spent most of my time in northern Minnesota at the Minnesota Hockey Camp. It's been a good fit for me for a number of years there and helps me to prepare for this time of year."
What should fans expect to see from him this season?
"I'm obviously a physical type of player, I would say a hit first over puck first, type of player. I'm definitely not afraid to go to the corner and make a mess. It's not like I'm going to come in here and score 50, although that's always the goal, but let's be honest. (laughs) No, I just want to come here and be good defensively, be responsible with the puck, and try to pump up the guys on the bench. You know, especially at home ice I like to get the fans into it, get them standing with a big hit."
While Malone has not played with any of his new teammates before, he said that it was a small hockey world and he was familiar with many of these guys. He repeated that everyone has been very welcoming and helpful and the transition has been an easy one.
"I really am excited to be here", he said.
If he can deliver on some of the big hits he spoke of, fans will be excited for him as well.