The New York Rangers and captain Ryan Callahan haven’t been able to work out a contract extension, and for the team to avoid losing him for nothing as a free agent this summer, it appears general manager Glen Sather will move the veteran forward before the March 5 NHL trade deadline.
“I’m told it’s 99 percent guaranteed Ryan Callahan will get traded by the deadline by the New York Rangers,” TSN reporter Darren Dreger said during Tuesday’s edition of “Insider Trading”. “There are many teams involved in this process. We know that the St. Louis Blues have been the most consistent in showing interest, there’s some connection to the Tampa Bay Lightning and other teams as well.”
Callahan is reportedly seeking a seven-year term and around $42 million in his next deal, and given the Rangers’ current salary structure, that is too high of a price to pay, despite his immense importance to the team. His steep contract demands also could limit the amount of potential trade suitors for the Rangers to work with because $6-plus million per season is expensive for a player with a long history of injuries.
But when Callahan is healthy, he’s a legitimate top-six forward and a player perfectly suited for the grind of the playoffs. In addition to his remarkable leadership skills, Callahan would provide scoring depth, penalty killing, fundamentally strong defense and a physical presence for a contenting team. He also has 24 points in 59 career playoff games, all with the Rangers.