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Report: Rangers float Callahan’s name in trade talks

Jan 28, 2014, 7:40 PM EDT

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By re-signing Henrik Lundqvist, the New York Rangers answered their biggest free agent question coming into this season, but they still have two more important players to re-sign … or trade. Tuesday’s TSN Insider Trading segment indicates that a lot can change in the next few weeks for both Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi.

In fact, Bob McKenzie reports that one or both could be traded if they don’t re-sign them by the trade deadline.

In particular, Darren Dreger reports that Rangers GM Glen Sather is “gauging interest” regarding Callahan’s value by reaching out to an unspecified number of general managers. The team appears more confident about their chances of retaining Girardi’s services, according to Dreger.

Term could be the biggest sticking point

It may come down to the Rangers balking at the two unrestricted free agents’ asking prices. Bob McKenzie reports that both are looking for long-term deals. Girardi is reportedly seeking a six or seven-year deal in the Jay Bouwmeester range ($5.4 million) while Callahan wants a seven-year pact worth $6 million per season.

Callahan will be 29 and Girardi will be 30 in the first year of their next deals, so term could be the largest sticking point, especially for two players who tend to block a lot of shots and throw their bodies around.

Diminishing roles?

Speaking of such roles, there’s also the possibility that current head coach Alain Vigneault simply doesn’t hold them in the same regard as John Tortorella once did.

Their ice time makes that argument, at least. Girardi is averaging 22:39 minutes per game this season after getting 25:25 per night in 2012-13 while Callahan is down to 17:54 after logging 21:31 per contest last season. It probably doesn’t help Callahan’s cause that his season began with some injury woes.


There is still plenty of time for the Rangers to re-sign one or both of these key contributors, but if these reports are correct, things could become interesting if they can’t compromise on contract extensions.

At the moment, Cap Geek projects their cap space at $29 million with 10 roster spots accounted for heading into 2014-15.

  1. esracerx46 - Jan 28, 2014 at 7:48 PM

    6 million for a guy with a career high of 54 points. Who does he think he is? David Clarkson? Clarkson had a career high of 46 points and got 5.25. Callahan has been more consistent, but not 6 million a year consistent.

    • elvispocomo - Jan 28, 2014 at 8:11 PM

      Callahan brings more than Clarkson, but $6M is still pretty pricey. I might not mind on a 3-4 year deal, but on a 6-7 year deal is a bit risky considering he plays so physical and could decline.

      • esracerx46 - Jan 28, 2014 at 8:36 PM

        Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have Callahan on my team. But if he wants 6 million for 7 years as a 29 year old I’m gonna pass. His style of play is not conducive to a long career. He’s always missed a handful of games every year, and if you want to demand that contract and miss games. You have to produce more than .56 points a game.

      • elvispocomo - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:15 PM

        Absolutely agree. Even if your defensive game is Selke calibre, offence is king when it comes to bigger contracts.

    • flash8910 - Jan 29, 2014 at 11:37 AM

      Maybe he think he is Alex Steen.

  2. slaugin - Jan 28, 2014 at 7:55 PM

    When healthy Callahan reminds me a lot of P. Bergeron. I could see Torts making a run to get him back, maybe not in a trade but in Free Agency. Although I guess Kessler is already their Callahan

  3. domdogsbk85 - Jan 28, 2014 at 7:59 PM

    There is more to callahan then goals and assists. This guy brings it every night.If the rangers decide to trade him they will have alot of explaining to do to the real core of ranger fans.

    • flyerspsu - Jan 28, 2014 at 9:46 PM

      Agreed, he is the type of player you want in your core for a championship team, so what if he only puts up 45-55 points, he does so much more than score, I would love for the Flyers to get him, but i doubt the Rangers would trade him to Philly

      • stakex - Jan 28, 2014 at 10:56 PM

        That’s true…. but still, its hard to pay a guy with that kind of statistical production $6 million a year no matter how much he does without the puck.

      • flyerspsu - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:22 AM

        very true, looking at how hes 29, already slowing down and wants a 7 year deal worth 6 mil is having me 2nd guess all of it despite how much i like him and his player type, idk 7 years at 6 mil is a lot, especially for a Flyers team thats already is committed long term to too many aging slow players already

    • gaborik104life - Jan 28, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      Agreed domdogs with most of what you said except for having to explain himself to the real core of rangers fans. The real core of any hockey team understands the reality of the business that is the NHL. He has done so much for this team but he is not on the level that makes him untouchable and a must resign. Very few players ever warrant that type of treatment. What he does for the team cannot be understated and while you do need those types of players to win most do not carry the contract he seeks. Those that do ask for it often don’t receive it or do not live up to it something the rangers cannot afford to do.

    • pepper2011 - Jan 29, 2014 at 10:55 AM

      We’ll take him in Boston any day. Guy is fearless and always puts the name on the front ahead of the name on the back.

      I’d give up quite a bit land these two. Only problem is Subban is probably their biggest asset and he’s not so useful to the Rangers.

      I guess they could flip Subban when the time comes, They would have to assure they signed him to an extension. Pending Seidenberg’s recovery – let Girardi walk.

      I wonder if a McQuaid/Boychuk/Bartkowski (or not all) along with Subban, a 1st and maybe Soderberg and kohklachev would get the deal done?

      • hockey412 - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:09 PM

        You’d give all that, (Bartkowski’s not going to do it, Subban isn’t all that much of an asset right now with the goalies available via trade, and MacQuaid and Boychuk both signed for another year at a reasonable hit), plus a first, for a guy you don’t even know you’ll keep past this season, though? Boston has enough kids on Defense right now, can’t trade either McQuaid OR Boychuk.

        I honestly don’t see Boston in this hunt, unless it’s a forward for Girardi. And honestly if I’m Boston I’d be keep the space open to re-sign Smith AND Iginla next year, the guy has shown he can bring it.

    • vm113 - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:11 PM

      If the rangers decide to trade him they will have alot of explaining to do—–Actually any reasonable Rangers fan would understand he’s not worth the contract he’s asking for.

  4. budvw14 - Jan 28, 2014 at 8:12 PM

    The “Real” core of Rangers fans understand that no one is untouchable. Callahan brings a high return. Already mentioned that Rangers may have interest in Blake Wheeler. Plays the same style but seems to keep getting better where Callahan seems to have plateaued. Fears are that Callahan will turn into Chris Drury 2.0. Callahan would bring a top 6 forward like Wheeler, another Nhl roster player, and possibly a prospect and pick. Of Sather can make a desk like that with the captain, he had to pull the trigger.

    • killerpgh - Jan 28, 2014 at 9:40 PM

      I think you are way over valuing Callahan if you think he will bring back a return of a top 6 forward, another roster player, a prospect, and draft pick. The Jets are probably gonna miss the playoff and you really think they would give all that up for a pending UFA? Even if the Jets were allowed to talk contract with Callahan before the trade I could see more the straight trade in Callahan for Wheeler with maybe a low level prospect OR a late round draft pick.

    • flyerspsu - Jan 28, 2014 at 9:48 PM

      how do Callahan and Blake Wheeler play the same style?

      i think Callahan has good value, but not as much as you are saying, i dont even think the Jets would give up Wheeler alone for Callahan let alone another NHL player, a prospect and a pick

    • dueman - Jan 28, 2014 at 10:33 PM

      budvw14 – Callahan for “Wheeler, another NHL roster player, and possibly a prospect and pick” is the biggest homer comment I’ve read in a while. Too funny…but they do say if you’re going to dream, dream big!

  5. slaugin - Jan 28, 2014 at 8:22 PM

    Callahan reminds you of Wheeler? I don’t see that connection at all…because their both Americans maybe?

    • homieshome - Jan 28, 2014 at 10:54 PM

      I can kind of see that, in a way. Callahan plays much bigger than he is and Wheeler is just big (6’5, 205 lbs.) they’re both very blue-collared but honestly, i think the better comparison would be Ladd and Callahan, regardless who is better, they both remind me of each other very much and are good leaders.

  6. barkar942 - Jan 28, 2014 at 8:28 PM

    My gosh, what a bunch of drama queen writers.
    “Their ice time makes that argument, at least. Girardi is averaging 22:39 minutes per game this season after getting 25:25 per night in 2012-13 while Callahan is down to 17:54 after logging 21:31 per contest last season.”
    Last year, each were playing even strength, penalty kill and power play. This year, McD has lightened Girardi’s pp minutes, and Cally has hardly been on the ice with the current pp roster for the Rangers. Think that might account for their three minutes a game reduction? Plus, AV likes to roll four lines and six defensemen. That reduces time, too.
    Come on, guys.
    The absolute only reason the Rangers would trade either of these two was that the Rangers don’t want to chance the long number of years.
    Now speaking of unsigned players, UFA’s Cally, Boyle, Benoit, Dom Moore, Carcillo, Girardi and Strahlman. RFA’s Brassard, Zuch, Kreider, Falk and John Moore.
    You know darn well that the RFA’s arent going to hold Slats hostage, just like in the past, so what are the UFA’s worth each to keep the cap hit within reason and do you want to now bankroll on all of the late twenties players to take them through their career without giving them unmovable contracts? (see Luongo)
    They will still need room to maneuver in the long run.

  7. flyerspsu - Jan 28, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    Id really want the Flyers to trade for Callahan, he wont help their speed problem but he would certainly help their defense and 2 way game problems they have with their forwards

    these gritty, leadership, 2 way players like Callahan, Richards, Bergeron etc are who win cups, idc if they only put up 50 pts during the reg. season, they always show up in the biggest games and do so much more than score

    • mactruck27 - Jan 28, 2014 at 10:16 PM

      I’d sooner immolate myself than watch Cally go to the Flyers

    • stakex - Jan 28, 2014 at 10:58 PM

      Even if Callahan was willing to go to the Flyers, there is little chance the Rangers would trade him there. Should he be traded, expect a trade to a West Coast team… or maybe an Atlantic Division team.

  8. stakex - Jan 28, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    I’m sorry but any team willing to give Callahan a seven year, $6 million a season contract is nuts.

    I can sit here all day saying great things about the guy. He really is the kind of player you want at the core of your team, and is a true heart and sole player. However, there is a huge risk with a player like Callahan when you start taking long term deals at his age. His style of play isn’t conductive to long, productive careers…. and he well might have already hit his prime. Every year that goes by his risk of more serious injuries increases, and all his past injuries take a bigger and bigger toll. Also, his offensive production isn’t $6 million worth…. which is no doubt a factor despite everything else he does well.

    I could see giving him $6 million a year for two-three seasons, but not for seven. If he stands firm to that demand, he probably won’t be a Ranger to finish the season…. and I wouldn’t blame Sather for a second.

  9. nashernation - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:39 AM

    Cally is going to be signed before the season ends. Die hard Ranger fans know he is the heart and soul of this team. Cally will be a ranger for life.. No doubt!

  10. ddcatello - Jan 29, 2014 at 12:40 AM

    Callahan is the captain of

  11. polishblue - Jan 29, 2014 at 2:05 AM

    This sounds a lot like back in 2011-2012.
    You know, where the eventual ‘”last team standing” dangled their unrestricted free agent captain who plays a gritty and hard nosed game almost all season long before he took them to the finals and carried them on his back all the way to glory….

    LA, Dustin Brown,….

  12. patshal - Jan 29, 2014 at 6:44 AM

    They shouldn’t trade Callahan. The leadership that he brings to the rangers is unbeatable. You can’t get that from a lot of captains and they’d be missing out on a valuable player if they trade him.

  13. magicrat13 - Jan 29, 2014 at 7:00 AM

    amnesty richards…good player but not worth his salary…

    then use the savings plus the cap increase to keep callahan, girardi and stralman…

  14. kastout11 - Jan 29, 2014 at 8:20 AM

    I am a hege Flyers fan, but living in NY, I follow the Rangers. Callahan is an absolute stud, but $6 million/year is too much. If the Flyers didn’t have a ton of depth at Center, I would love to add Callahan to the mix. He plays smart and plays hard and he is a great Captain. The Flyers have had little success stopping him, and they rarely beat the Rangers.

    • tcclark - Jan 29, 2014 at 10:19 AM

      Last I checked Callahan was a winger, not a center

  15. xdj511 - Jan 29, 2014 at 9:33 AM

    Ugh. I don’t want to hear about the possibility of the Rangers trading either of these guys, but I don’t want to hear about outrageous contract demands, either.

    I said a month ago that if the Rangers fell far enough out of the playoff picture that they should trade all of their UFAs at the deadline and get what they could for them. They could always resign them in the summer. But then the Rangers got hot and are in second place in their division behind the Pens. There shouldn’t be any talk of trading core players while the Rangers look like cup contenders. If the season ends and Cally and Girardi want to sign elsewhere to get the biggest contract possible, that’s their choice.

    • cofran2004 - Jan 29, 2014 at 10:32 AM

      I’m with you on this… The last thing they need to do right now is trade cally. I really think that the asking for 6 is just high-balling glen. He will come down… he knows that he’s injury prone as everyone else in the league.

      I hope…

    • cofran2004 - Jan 29, 2014 at 10:34 AM

      you won’t get too too much on the trade market for him anyway… The league knows that if they really want him, he’s a free agent at the end of the season. Why trade for him when you can get him without giving anything up at the end of the season?

      • xdj511 - Jan 29, 2014 at 11:28 AM

        If the Rangers were out of the race and just wanted to flip them out as a rental and get a mid-level prospect or draft pick in return I could see it, but not under these circumstances.

        Cally and Girardi both seem like down-to-Earth, realistic guys and I can’t imagine they would make outrageous contract demands. If they both want to stay with the Rangers they’ll both find a way to make it work. If I’m wrong they can follow the money to Philly or Toronto or wherever it takes them, but that’s their choice.

  16. dolphanphan - Jan 29, 2014 at 1:20 PM

    I know most of you guys think Callahan is a God in NY, but he has proven to be absolutely useless in the playoffs. Grit, and guts, and diving, and determination are all nice. But how ’bout Callahan score some more goals?. THAT is why trading him is a brilliant idea. He simply disappears in the playoffs. Sorry to say, but true.

  17. 2qswing - Jan 29, 2014 at 4:04 PM

    agreeing to deals like that is how GM’s get fired.

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