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Report: Callahan’s demands are even higher than thought

Feb 4, 2014, 9:12 AM EDT

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 30: Ryan Callahan #24 of the New York Rangers in action against the Vancouver Canucks during their game at Madison Square Garden on November 30, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images) Getty Images

When news came out that New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan was asking for a seven-year, $42 million contract extension, it wasn’t hard to understand the team’s motivations for shopping him.

As it turns out, those numbers might not be accurate. Callahan might want even more than that. More specifically, he’s demanding somewhere between $45.5 million and $49 million over seven years, according to TSN.

That would give him a cap hit comparable to Mikko Koivu, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, and each of the Sedin twins.

Meanwhile, the deal that would send Callahan to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for Chris Stewart is believed to be still on the table. There’s also still a chance that the Rangers will still re-sign their captain given that they plan to reopen negotiations this week.

The Buffalo Sabres are also interested in paying Callahan, but not the Rangers, reports the New York Post. They aren’t about to deal away prospects for him, but they will be a major bidder for his services if he decides to test the free agent waters.

Ultimately, the suggestion that there are teams out there willing to pay Callahan top dollar might motivate him to stick to his demands, which would not only diminish the Rangers ability to re-sign him, but also hurt any potential return they can get in a trade.

  1. runhigh24 - Feb 4, 2014 at 9:30 AM

    Based on the contract David Clarkson received coupled with the rising cap, I can’t exactly fault him for seeing $$$ everywhere. He’s been a better and much more consistent player over the years than Clarkson. Likely that some team ends up paying him what he wants if he goes UFA.

    • rbbbaron - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:29 AM

      He might have been better and more consistent over the years, but if he gets his asking price/term then he might overtake Clarkson for the top position in the “worst contract signings” category in the last couple years. 7mil annually is also nearly 1mil more than Zetterberg gets. But given the past with Drury, Gomez, and Redden, I guess you should expect that players like Callahan smell a ‘sucker’ in the NYR management.

      • xdj511 - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:41 AM

        Maybe Cally was betting on the fans getting into an uproar over Sather not bowing to his contract demands. Welcome to the 21st Century, Cally. Hockey fans are savvy enough to know now that an albatross contract will cripple their team. It might be a shock to know that Rangers fans would rather see him walk than to give in to outrageous demands.

        I would love to see him retire a Ranger, but if the Rangers overpay him, they will not be able to stash him in the minors or buy him out after a few years. If he is willing to take a 4-5 year deal for “only” $20-$30 million, great. Otherwise, have fun in Buffalo!

  2. robnas94 - Feb 4, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    What a moron. I’ve never liked him, and to think he’s worth that much will get him nowhere. Hope the Rangers smarten up and trade him before the deadline. Mr. Blue Collar Hockey Player who can barely put the puck in the net is Drury 2.0 and is a cocky little piece of crap.

  3. robnas94 - Feb 4, 2014 at 9:50 AM

    What a moron. I’ve never liked him, and to think he’s worth that much will get him nowhere. Hope the Rangers smarten up and trade him before the deadline. Mr. Blue Collar Hockey Player who can barely put the puck in the net is Drury 2.0.

  4. withseidelinn - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:01 AM

    Career high of 54 points 3 years ago, and he’s asking to be paid like guys that put up 70+ annually. It just doesn’t make sense. I get the added value of intangibles but that only gets you so far.

    • stepanup - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:02 AM

      The best direct comparison I can make is Alex Steen. Steen’s 29, and up until this year has been a solid two-way player with injury issues. In the midst of his breakout campaign Steen re-upped at a 5.8 AAV. To think that Callahan wants $6.5-$7M is ridiculous.

  5. alicesrightfootesq - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:09 AM

    He’s 28. He’s only got one big contract left on his career and this is it. I don’t blame him at all for trying to get as much as he can.

    • rbbbaron - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:37 AM

      I don’t blame him either, but if he gets what he’s asking for then Callahan also shouldn’t blame the management of whatever team he ends up on if he never gets his name on the cup either. Being shipped to St. Louis might provide him with his best chance (before he ends up somewhere like Buffalo)

      • skr213 - Feb 4, 2014 at 2:25 PM

        He would love to go to Buffalo – he grew up in Rochester just 60 miles from Buffalo. Granted, he won’t win a cup there, but just thought I’d remind people of that motivation.

  6. xdj511 - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:13 AM

    I feel like I say this every day now, and with the proliferation of Callahan and his contract demands posts, I probably am. If he really is making outrageous contract demands, let him walk. But it’s crazy to talk about trading him this season. You don’t want to mess with team chemistry when they’re playing this well, and you’re not going to get much back for Callahan as a rental.

    • hockey412 - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:06 AM

      I agree with you, in part. Unbelieveably they are second in the M, in a playoff spot for now. The risk of course is that if you don’t make the playoffs you’ve lost a strong asset for nothing, which is, in any business, a loss. I’d bet you could probably get a late first and a prospect for him, for a rental.

      Something I haven’t heard kicked around, though, is would you finally ditch (trade OR buy-out) Brad Richards to keep Callahan? I’d think not, as far as production goes Richards has been doing better than Callahan. But Nash, Richards, and Callahan eating up almost $22M LONG TERM of the cap with players like Stepan, Kreider, Hagelin needing new contracts in the next few (Kreider no doubt will get a bridge but the other two are almost off the bridge) doesn’t seem like it’s going to work with Henry’s new contract.

      • xdj511 - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:23 AM

        I tend to believe that Richards will get bought out this summer no matter what happens. There’s no way you can keep him around another six years at that salary, even if he keeps playing well and earns it this year, he’s past his prime and will begin to decline within the next couple of seasons. It’s another reason that I think the Rangers have to have that win now mentality. This is their last best chance to win the Stanley Cup before buying out Richards, and players like Staal, Nash, Lundqvist, and Callahan if he stays are past their primes.

        Sather has shown how tough he has been on his RFA’s the last few years, first Dubinsky, then MDZ, then Stepan have all held out into training camp until they basically had to give in and take what they were offered (thank you collusion). He will be quite happy to do that to Kreider and the other RFA’s coming up to stay within budget.

    • stakex - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:43 PM

      Two things:

      1. If we were talking about one of the Rangers players directly responsible for the team turning it around, you would have a great point. However, Callahan has been a 3rd line player most of the season and hasn’t been overly productive during the teams recent run. As such, trading him isn’t going to have much of a negative impact on the Rangers current run. Not to mention the Olympic break is going to cause pretty much a reset in momentum anyway…. so its not really a concern.

      2. You might not get a top player or anything like that in return, but the Rangers certainly could get decent assets back…. which is better than letting him walk and getting nothing. If the Rangers were a top contender, with a really good shot at the Cup this season, than I would agree that its worth the risk. However, despite their recent play, I would still consider their likelihood of winning the Cup pretty low…. especially with how strong the West is. Hanging onto Callahan, knowing he’s going to walk, for a long shot playoff run doesn’t seem smart.

  7. spezzdispenser - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:15 AM

    That’s hilarious

  8. stepanup - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:29 AM

    That’s just too much. It’s been real Ryan, but there’s just no way the Rangers can be competitive with that contract. I don’t blame Callahan, Toronto killed the market for this kind of player with the Clarkson deal.

    If he wants to chase down those dollars, good luck to him. A team like the Sabres will be happy to have him, and I wish him the best. I just thought having a chance at a Cup was more of a priority.

    I still don’t buy that a trade is right here either. See how far this team can go this season, and let him move on in free agency.

    • stepanup - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:54 AM

      For comparison, Alex Steen just reupped at 5.8 AAV. Callahan is like Alex Steen, without the point per game season.

  9. buddysguys - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    no matter how much he wants Terry Pegula will give it to him. He’ll give it to him real good.

  10. hockeydon10 - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:46 AM

    How does his .56 PPG coupled with his $7M demands compare to other players that are right around that same PPG? How about other $7M players?

    Intangibles do have meaning, but not that much.

  11. mike0987 - Feb 4, 2014 at 10:55 AM

    what intangibles? what have they won with him on the team? “heart and soul” only
    gets you so much lol

    • withseidelinn - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      That’s actually a very good point. I think he is widely known as a great leader and heart on your sleeve, blue collar type of player, but the Rangers haven’t had any major success with him as their captain. Making the conference final 2 years ago was a great achievement but they’ve depreciated from that level and haven’t been able to re-create that success. Maybe moving him and injecting some new life is what they need. Get a guy that can fire up Nash and Richards offensively. Not saying it’ll be easy, but Callahan is no doubt a hot commodity on the trade market.

  12. nyeagles10 - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    I agree let him walk and if you have to trade him package him with someone like a jt miller and another prospect and get a GOAL SCORER in return.

    • stepanup - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:34 AM

      Why should JT be traded? I really like him as a player and he’ll continue to progress. Next year could be a big year, I’m looking for him to make the jump to a full-time NHLer. And he’s still on that rookie contact. Let him walk in free agency and put the cap money towards Moulson in free agency.

      • nyeagles10 - Feb 4, 2014 at 12:11 PM

        how bout callahan for moulson ?

  13. rpiotr01 - Feb 4, 2014 at 11:46 AM

    That’s a shame, if true. He has to know damn well that they can’t afford him at that salary. Sather would be wise to bite the bullet and trade him for peanuts rather than lose him for absolutely nothing in FA.

  14. crazemastercraze - Feb 4, 2014 at 12:14 PM

    Five years was more than enough for this guy but he was asking for seven. Now this? Keep dreaming.

  15. hosewater2 - Feb 4, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    So I guess Callahan the Leader is going to let this get played out in the press.

    Tough situation for the NYR, hopefully they have the sense to not reup him at anywhere near what he’s asking. Unfortunately, with these demands it really limits his trade value, he goes from being a guy you might resign to a pure rental.

  16. sportsfan69 - Feb 4, 2014 at 12:48 PM

    Let’s be honest. Ryan Callahan has been reduced to a third line winger and penalty killer specialist on the NY Rangers team. He’s probably pissed off and realizes that his best way to restart his career is by pricing himself out of New York. AV’s system is not conducive to Callahan’s play. Callahan would be perfect in Vancouver, so that he may reunite with Tortorella’s system. Callahan is pushing for these obnoxious contract demands. Ryan Callahan is NO Dustin Brown. As the team captain for the LA Kings, Dustin Brown made sure his new contract would not paralyze the Kings organization from remaining as a contender for future years.

    I’m really disappointed in Ryan Callahan’s actions.

    • homieshome - Feb 5, 2014 at 6:42 PM

      Beautifully said. If that’s really his asking price, then its bye bye Cally, it will be said if it ruins our season. I still blame Sather for giving Hank that huge 8.5 hit contract, that encouraged the others to do the same. Stamkos makes 7.5 but you give Hank 8.5? Unbelievable and now Cally is looking to do the same as if he was Bobby Ryan or something

  17. djshnooks - Feb 4, 2014 at 1:28 PM

    Keep insulting Buffalo. Just remember, while they were making runs a few years back, your teams sucked. It goes in cycles.

    They are rebuilding the right way finally…and if you morons think a team run by Pat Lafontaine, Craig Patrick, Tim Murray, and owned by Terry Pegula, is not gonna bounce back and become an elite team again, you just don’t understand sports. These guys know what they’re doing. Just give them some time to sort out Darcy Regier’s mess and devise a plan.

    A plan that, as they said…will end up bringing “home” talent from the area. A plan that includes 17 draft picks in the first 2 rounds of the draft through 3 years…very highly regarded draft picks nonetheless.

    So, in a couple years…this Buffalo team you are insulting could look like…

    Ennis – Mcdavid – P. Kane (summer 15 FA)
    Armia – Hodgson – Callahan (summer 14)
    Grigorenko – Girgensons – Foligno
    4th liners…Up/coming prospects.

    Zadorov – Myers (both 6-7)
    McNabb – Pysyk
    Ruhwedel – Ristolainen

    Hackett – Ullmark – Makarov

    So much young talent. So much cap space.

    • cofran2004 - Feb 4, 2014 at 1:43 PM

      How do you figure you’re going to get callahan AND kane?

      And insulting buffalo is easy. When you’re the worst team in the league, you kind of have it coming. Sowwee.

      • janoon2013 - Feb 4, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        Both Pittsburgh and Chicago were in the position that Buffalo is in back in the early 2000’s. They drafted high, got star players like Toews, Kane Seabrook, Keith, Crosby, Staal, Fleury, Letang and Malkin. These players are the backbone of Cup winning teams who built threw the draft! When Chicago was drafting Toews and Kane, the Sabres were in the conference finals and won the President’s Cup! The Sabres have some great prospects in the minors now, and hold multiple picks in the next two drafts! We will take this year of abuse and move up to where this franchise belongs. The support from fans has not dwindled. Watch games in Jersey, Dallas, Florida etc, where their are so many empty seats, yet there is a waiting list for season tickets here! Beware!

    • rbbbaron - Feb 4, 2014 at 2:09 PM

      We’re all allowed to dream…

    • thesportsjudge - Feb 4, 2014 at 3:17 PM

      How can you say Regier’s mess when he built that “elite team” a few years back?

      Talk out of both sides of your mouth much?

  18. bennywuh - Feb 4, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    Dont get me wrong – I like the guy, always draft him for Hits and PPP. That said – the dude hasnt played a full season yet. I compare him to Gaborik – plays great, IF he can stay healthy. Not worth the money he’s asking

  19. kyzslew77 - Feb 4, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    If a European or Russian player with Callahan’s numbers was making these demands for an extension, he’d be crucified for being the most selfish selfish who ever selfished.

  20. bbk1000 - Feb 4, 2014 at 5:41 PM

    Good player and a great captain but he has to go for the money he wants….

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