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Report: Callahan, Rangers negotiations stalled as trade freeze approaches

Feb 7, 2014, 8:54 AM EDT

Ryan Callahan Getty Images

Although they reportedly balked at captain Ryan Callahan‘s initial demands — believed to be in the range of $45.5 million and $49 million over seven years — the New York Rangers resumed their contract negotiations with his agent this week.

It didn’t help. The Rangers are countering with a five-year, $30 million deal and the two sides haven’t moved meaningfully closer to resolving the impasse, according to ESPN’s sources.

Teams won’t be allowed to trade from 3:00 p.m. ET today through Feb. 23 at 11:59 p.m. ET. Earlier reports suggested that the Rangers might push to trade Callahan before that deadline if they couldn’t re-sign him, but it now sounds like they’re more likely to wait until after the Olympics to resolve this matter.

It helps that Callahan has handled himself nicely. He had one of his biggest games of the season on Tuesday when he scored two goals and three points against Colorado.

That’s good news for Team USA as he’ll likely have this hanging over his head while he’s playing for them in Sochi.

  1. xdj511 - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Ahh… today’s Cally post. Yes, they are very far apart in negotiations. No, they are not going to trade him. Yes, if he doesn’t come down in his demands he is probably going to walk as a free agent. No, Rangers fans won’t be happy but will understand if another team blows the Rangers’ offer out of the water and Cally sells himself to the highest bidder. Yes, that contract will probably be an albatross around that team’s neck by the end.

    See you on the next post!

    • hockey412 - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:46 AM

      Would you trade Richards to keep Callahan?

      • xdj511 - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:33 AM

        What team would trade for Richards and his contract? Could the team that trades for him still buy him out after this season? Otherwise, I don’t even see how it would be possible unless the Rangers eat most of the contract, and that would defeat the purpose.

      • hockey412 - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:51 AM

        Fair enough – would you BUY OUT Richards to keep Callahan?

      • xdj511 - Feb 7, 2014 at 11:05 AM

        I think Richards gets bought out no matter what. That 7-8 million dollar cap hit will stay on the books until 2020 even if he retires based on the current rules. Even though he is having a good season, he’s 33-34 now and his production is going to decline.

        If it came down to Richards or Callahan, I would keep Callahan, but not if he is making outrageous contract demands.

    • stakex - Feb 7, 2014 at 5:37 PM

      @xdj511

      Richard’s cap hit is actually $6.666 million a season, and don’t be too sure that he is definitely being bought out.

      Dave Lozo at the Bleacher Report made a great point: If the Rangers have decided that Richards is going to be bought out, why would they play such hardball with Callahan? His demands are high… but if the Rangers bought Richards out they would have more than enough to re-sign everyone, including giving Callahan his massive deal. At the very least they could offer him something more in between the two sides current stand.

      Id also point out that Richards is tied for 1st in goals for the Rangers, and 2nd in points this season. Not so sure if they are going to buy out a guy who might well end up being their leading scorer, especially if his cap hit is only $6.6 million (and the Cap is going to continue to rise).

      • xdj511 - Feb 11, 2014 at 4:25 PM

        The Rangers are playing hardball with Callahan because Sather is a hard-ass. Also, they can.

        Your points that Richards is having a good season and that the cap is going to rise are both valid. However, it doesn’t change the fact that he is an aging player and the $6.6 million cap hit might still be quite a lot in 2019-20, especially if he is retired or otherwise useless. I would be surprised if he isn’t bought out, but you never know, I guess.

  2. jb8588 - Feb 7, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    Callahan is just overvaluing himself here. Don’t get me wrong, he is a very valuable player and definitely is an asset to the Rangers…but the Rangers offer of 5 years @ 6 mil per is a very fair offer. The Rangers could offer a little more possibly, but just because other teams want to go out there and overpay doesn’t mean the Rangers should do the same and give in to Callahan’s laughable demands.

    • DED - Feb 7, 2014 at 4:38 PM

      I agree. His cap hit is $4.275 million now. $6 million is a 28.75% increase. That’s more than fair. Honestly, I’m a bit surprised that Sather didn’t start at $5.5 million. To me, that seems more reasonable.

      For comparison’s sake, Richards is a $6.6 million cap hit and Nash is $7.8 million. McDonagh got $4.7 million last year and Step got $3 million.

  3. stepanup - Feb 7, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    Finishing one of those glorious chances last night certainly wouldn’t have hurt.

  4. crazemastercraze - Feb 7, 2014 at 3:12 PM

    Blame Toronto with the absolutely ridiculous Clarkson deal. Now every schmo thinks the deserve that kind of money. The owners only have themselves to blame for these types of situations. Because if the rangers don’t give him that kind of money at that term, some other idiot will

    • elrock7 - Feb 7, 2014 at 3:24 PM

      Blame Toronto? Yeah sure, blame NYR for overpaying for Richards, who is a shell of his former self. Sather only knows how to open a cheque book and over pay for whoever is out there, Richards, Gaborik whoever.

      Horrible GM. Id take Clarkson over either one of them.

  5. ragsrus - Feb 7, 2014 at 6:19 PM

    Elock – you do realize that Toronto was willing to pay Richards even more than what the Rangers offered, right? And if you would pick Clarkson over Richards or Cally your an idiot!

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