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Callahan, Lightning contract talks in ‘critical stage’

Jun 23, 2014, 4:14 PM EDT

Ryan Callahan AP

Talks between Ryan Callahan and the Tampa Bay Lightning are getting a bit trickier as time ticks away towards July 1.

Callahan’s agent, Steve Bartlett, tells Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times negotiations with the team are tightening up as time whittles away towards his client becoming an unrestricted free agent.

“It’s at a critical stage where we have to find a way to close the gap,” Bartlett said.

Bartlett added that the door between the two sides won’t be closed and that even if talks go past July 1 the Lightning will have a shot at re-signing the 29-year-old forward.

That said, things get dicier starting on Wednesday when other teams can start talking with potential free agents. As for the Lightning, Callahan likes where the team is at and is headed, but unless a deal can get worked out that might not mean quite so much.

Callahan reportedly sought a seven-year, $42 million deal from the New York Rangers but reportedly brought those demands down before he was traded to Tampa Bay for Martin St. Louis. He had 17 goals and 36 points in 65 games with the Rangers and Lightning last season.

  1. rsl22 - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:25 PM

    $7MM a year is a lot for a guy that only has one 50 point season (54 point high). Plus, at his size and age, durability has to be a major question mark.

    • J.M. Garlock - Jun 24, 2014 at 8:44 AM

      There’s only one place Callahan is going to get $7 million a year. Hope he likes blinis and vodka.

      • rsl22 - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:51 AM

        I should have gotten more thumbs down, as my math was incorrect…He asked for $6MM/year. Still an awful lot for what he brings.

  2. bildomac07 - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    Good not great player, someone is bound to overpay if he can’t get reasonable with Lightning.

  3. billiam55 - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    same thing happened with the rangers. have a feeling hes gonna test free agency..

  4. rupp246 - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    Asked too much with the rangers and now is probably asking too much with lightning. I agree, good player not great .

  5. thatguytml92 - Jun 23, 2014 at 4:39 PM

    Buffalo will over pay for him if they feel like it

  6. mactruck27 - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:06 PM

    Blame Toronto for resetting the market on a guy like Cally. Anyone looking at Clarkson’s contract can say “Hey, I’m better than him and he’s making $5.25 mil/year!” Literally anyone. Don’t even have to be a hockey player.

  7. bleedrangerblue - Jun 23, 2014 at 5:27 PM

    He’ll take a cut to come home.

    • DED - Jun 23, 2014 at 9:09 PM

      If by “home” you mean, Buffalo, yeah sure (only a couple of hours from Rochester). But if you mean the Rangers, no chance. Too much bad blood between him and Sather after what happened.

      Look, I didn’t want him to go. I didn’t want the Rangers to trade him. I thought it was a bad move. I wanted him to lead the team into the playoffs and worry about the contract over the summer. I was wrong. St. Louis proved to be a great acquisition. I wish him all the best, but there’s no way he’s worth even $6 million/year.

      I wonder how much of this whole thing was Cally’s inflated sense of self and how much of it was his silver tongued agent pumping up his ego.

  8. desertfan - Jun 23, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    3 years @ $5 m is tops

  9. roblo76 - Jun 23, 2014 at 7:45 PM

    An awful, horrid Clarkson-like contract awaits some unlucky team.

  10. paulerhythm - Jun 23, 2014 at 8:07 PM

    It’s about the money and length of service for the money. Boy, that’s ballsy, coming from a good, not great player. Wow!

  11. lidstrom5 - Jun 23, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    7 yer deal at age 29 is horrible we see this over and over

  12. jamaal9684 - Jun 24, 2014 at 9:34 AM

    Yzerman is no fool

  13. lightning79 - Jun 24, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    I hope Callahan walks, I really don’t think anything over 5M/year for 3 years is worth it. So many young guys in the system that could take over his role. Adam Erne, Paquette, ect. Who would only 1/5 of what he wants.

    At this point I rather walk away, I really don’t want a David Clarkson-type player anchoring this offense for years to come….

    Please Yzerman say NO THANKS!

  14. djshnooks - Jun 24, 2014 at 3:34 PM

    Rochester’s “a couple hours” from Buffalo?

    Ummm, not close…try about 45 minutes.

    Just another “know-it-all” who has no clue.

    • DED - Jun 25, 2014 at 2:46 PM

      Sorry, substituted Syracuse for Rochester on the distance. But it’s a moot point anyway since Cally signed with Tampa.

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