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Report: Callahan, Lightning close to signing long-term deal

Jun 25, 2014, 12:01 AM EDT

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning Getty Images

Ryan Callahan is close to re-signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning, according to a report from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.

From Sportsnet:

The 29-year-old was eligible to pursue unrestricted free agency on July 1, but a source indicated that a new deal with the Lightning is “imminent.” While the precise terms of the extension weren’t immediately available, it is believed to be in excess of five years and worth as much as $5.5-million per season.

Scott Bartlett, one of Callahan’s agents, tweeted on Tuesday night that the sides had found “common ground towards a new deal.”

As per Johnston, and reports at the trade deadline, because Callahan will remain in Tampa Bay, the Rangers will now get a second-round pick back from the Lightning.

Callahan went to the Lightning at the March 5 trade deadline, in a blockbuster move that saw Martin St. Louis moved to the New York Rangers. The trade was facilitated because talks on a new deal between Callahan’s camp and the Rangers weren’t making much progress, and so the chips fell in a massive exchange of big-name players hours before the deadline.

Callahan scored six goals and 11 points in 20 regular season games with Tampa Bay, then went without a point in the playoffs, as the Lightning were swept out of the first round.

The Lightning made it clear right from about the start of April until now that they had interest in re-signing Callahan, who turned 29 years of age in March and was the subject of a PHT UFA of the Day feature earlier this month.

His play, even in a small sample, left a favorable impression on Tampa Bay’s head coach Jon Cooper: “I really, really hope Ryan considers us as a place he wants to spend the rest of his career … because as long as I’m coaching this team, I want Ryan Callahan on the bench. I don’t know how much stronger I can be about that.”

  1. ctcork - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:15 AM

    Hopefully that up to $5.5M deal is just that and not a locked in yearly salary. I’d be okay with a deal that pays him that for a year or two with declining value or maybe becomes renegotiable based on performance after 2-3 years

    • lsxphotog - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:12 AM

      But, in the real world, agents protect their clients from such deals. The things they work with are trade clauses, terms, incentives, and distribution of the cap hit.

    • flyerspsu - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:52 AM

      sure that would be ideal but its just not plausible

    • flyerspsu - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:52 AM

      sure that would be ideal but its just not plausible

  2. lowenni - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:44 AM

    Good for the Lightning. Callahan will bring a lot of grit and intangibles to the team and right now they can afford to pay the price he’s asking. They’re gonna have some real formidable forward depth next season. Don’t know why but I like the Lightning, glad to see them committed to winning and attracting new hockey fans down in Florida.

    • shutton83 - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:41 AM

      I live down in Tampa and while I’m a bruins fan im happy to see so many lightning fans, they lightning draw a good crowd, far more support and fan presence than the Rays in the MLB, I feel that the Panthers may be moved soon however because the fan support down there is just non existent.

  3. arrow43050 - Jun 25, 2014 at 12:48 AM

    The Rangers were willing to pay up to $6m per year supposedly. There’s a scene in A League of Their Own where Jon Lovitz tells Geena Davis and her sister how much they would make and the sister says well, we only make (some lower amount) here. And he says, sarcastically pointing out the obvious, “Well, that would be more now wouldn’t it?” I feel like saying the same thing. The Rangers were already willing to pay more so he’d be foolish not to test free agent waters. There will be a lot of free agents this year, and quality ones, but no over the top amazing ones and the cap and floor are going up again so there will be a lot of spending done. He could probably get more money playing for a team of his choosing if he waits for free agency.

    • lsxphotog - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:25 AM

      Assuming this deal does go through, it’s hard to say what brought him to the brink of signing the deal for less years and less money than he was offered in New York. However, his agent most likely brought up the reality of state taxes and actual income versus a city such as New York. Florida has no individual income tax. New York has one of the highest in the country and New York City has its own taxes just for the luxury of living in the largest city on earth. So $5.5 in Florida is a legitimate $5.5 million with standard income taxes. In the big apple? A 6.25-million deal would be well UNDER $6-million at the end of the day.

      I think his acceptance of a shorter term deal for around less money than he was seeking has a lot to do with the Ranger going deep into the Finals. It must be a bit of bitterness that he left a team that just made it to the dance. Now he has a chance to sign with a team he fits in on and has a very promising future. Tampa may very possibly win a cup within the length of his 5-6 year deal. If he goes to a team like Buffalo for the promise of more money, he has to hope the team can get the pieces it needs to even contend for a playoff spot – let alone a Cup.

    • desertfan - Jun 25, 2014 at 4:20 AM

      3 years at max $4M per

    • trick9 - Jun 25, 2014 at 7:59 AM

      Rangers were prepared to pay him 6m yearly but they were not prepared to give him NMC and that is why their talks broke down. The reason he’s willing to take less is propably because of bad playoffs and that he’d get NMC from TBL to that new contract.

  4. phillyphanatic77 - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:28 AM

    If that 5.5 turns out to be accurate then Callahan finally got some sense knocked into him. Like I said on the Bolland page, if these 2nd-3rd liners don’t wanna make financial sacrifices then they’re gonna end up in Buffalo or Florida. 5.5-5.8 is the highest anyone should go for a player like Callahan (esp with his recent injury issues). Hopefully he’s finally realized that to win a Cup he can’t just chase the money. Tampa is going to be dangerous going forward, especially if they can keep this guy around.

  5. pone27 - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:43 AM

    5 years, 5.5 mil is STILL over paying for Callahan…

    He is 29! So he is going to make 5.5 mil until he is 34?

    Ok, I get he was a captain for the Rangers: A team that lacked leadership in which someone had to be named captain. But what I laugh at is the simple fact that after he left, the decision over who would fill his shoes was so debatable, and at the same time, would be just as good of a captain.

    Now, you are going to pay him 5.5 mil? And he brings a solid two way game, but is undersized, and is not a big time goal scorer. IMO, he is still getting over paid, but hopefully Tampa isn’t fishing to move him in 2 years, for their sake, for his skill set, matched with that contract, will not be moveable.

  6. 950003cups - Jun 25, 2014 at 5:16 AM

    Callahan will make out like a bandit in FA.
    Clarkson
    Clowe
    Bryzgalov
    B Richards
    All were grossly overpaid in FA. It’s not about to change. Unless he has an injury that he’s keeping secret.

  7. phtjoey - Jun 25, 2014 at 10:24 AM

    After being put in a tough spot by St. Louis, signing the player for whom they traded for would be a big win for Yzerman. Hope it works out for TB.

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