The New York Rangers are entering the trade deadline with Ryan Callahan as their top chip and rumors have been coming out for weeks about him getting traded and now reports say that NY could look into moving their captain for Martin St. Louis in a deal with the Tampa Bay Lighting, as the Big Apple is the only city where he wants to play apart from TB.
The Rangers and Callahan have been at odds over a contract extension for some time and that has spilled over into the trade deadline, as the team could risk losing him as a free agent for nothing and that has sparked interest from a number of teams. The Rangers could rather not lose their captain or trade him, but Glen Sather may feel like he has no choice, as the team has balked at a potential seven year deal for Callahan worth around $6 or $7 million per season. Callahan is one of the best players for the Rangers, but this season he has struggled and has just 11 goals and 13 assists in 42 games.
The Rangers are not afraid to pull off trades, as they showed last year and in the past with the Rick Nash deal for Marian Gaborik and this could be another move they make. Callahan was playing with the United States in Sochi and as he returned, more news and rumors have surfaced centered on a possible deal for Martin St. Louis with the Lightning. Callahan will be 29 this season and according to ESPN.com, he is looking for a six or seven year deal worth between $6.5 and $7 million dollars and all the talk of the deal has had coach Alain Vigneault a bit frustrated as he tried to put his stamp on the team after taking over for John Tortorella. Dan Girardi has been going through a similar thing and he could get traded as well.
The Rangers are right in the mix in the east and they currently are second in the division and in the middle of the pack overall and there are a number of teams that could be interested in Callahan. According to the Daily News and New York Post, Callahan is a target for a trade with the Lightning, as St. Louis has said to Tampa Bay that he will only go to NY, but the trouble is that he has a $5.625 million cap hit and Callahan is looking like a player that wants to test free agency no matter where he is traded.
The Rangers have reportedly offered Callahan a deal of five-years and worth $30 million, but he wants something longer and the two teams could engage in more talks before the March 5 deadline, but according to Pro Hockey Talk, nothing is on the horizon. The Rangers have loved having Callahan as their captain and would rather not trade him, but reports from TSN say that a deal is very likely due to the contract demands. The deadline is on Wednesday and now Sather and the Rangers have to decide what the best course of action is regarding Callahan and a potential trade.