Guest blogger: Michael Aker … on the Ryan Callahan situation


Why Trading Ryan Callahan Is The Right Thing To Do If A Reasonable Deal Can’t Be Reached

By Michael Aker

Ryan Callahan has a special bond with the New York Rangers fan base. He’s one of them. While he might come from Sabres country in Rochester, he’s the kid everyone grew up playing hockey with in any New York suburb. He’s wasn’t the biggest dog in the yard, nor did he have the most skill, but he worked on his craft to become a very good player in the OHL, AHL, and eventually NHL. Rangers fans appreciate this more than anything. And then there’s his will; ever since his first call up on Dec. 1, 2006 against the Buffalo Sabres, he’s done anything that’s been asked of him in order to help the Rangers win. Whether it’s hit, block a shot, penalty kill, or stand in front of an opposing goalie on the power play and take a beating from giants like Chris Pronger or Zdeno Chara, Callahan willingly does it. He never complains and plays every shift like it’s his last which are some of the many reasons he wears the C.
For the better part of three and a half seasons, the team has taken on his identity and had some pretty decent success, winning one Atlantic Division title and three playoff series. He’s always in the mix for the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award, and his jersey is one of the most popular in the stands. All of this should lead to “Captain Cally” continuing his run on Broadway for the better part of the next decade, and maybe even having his jersey go to the rafters if he, Henrik Lundqvist, and some combination of 23 players can put it all together and win the Stanley Cup. But there’s a chance that he won’t make it to his 29th birthday later next month as a Ranger because of his contract demands and impending unrestricted free agency.
There’s no reason to blame Callahan or call him greedy for seeking reportedly between $6.5 and $7 million. The market dictates this as was the case with last summer’s insane contracts given to Ryane Clowe and David Clarkson. It’s nice that Dustin Brown and David Backes, two players compared to Callahan (and Olympic teammates) took slight discounts to stay with their respective teams, but Callahan has witnessed Glen Sather throw millions at the likes of Matt Cullen, Aaron Ward, Scott Gomez, Chris Drury, Wade Redden, and Ales Kotalik among others in his Rangers tenure. Now it’s his turn. This is in all likelihood the last large contract Callahan will receive and it would be silly for him to take a discount of millions of dollars when any shot blocked or any hit he lays can alter his game and perhaps his career. It would also be very unwise of the Rangers to give a player that routinely spends more time on the IR every season a deal worth close to $7 million annually.
Loyalty is important to friends, family, and loved ones but in sports it’s often overrated in regards to retaining players. The Islanders were too loyal to their core that won four Stanley Cups and nearly a fifth, letting most of their players retire and only getting a minimal return for John Tonelli at the 1986 trade deadline. The Devils had some very tough decisions to make in the late 80s especially following their Cinderella playoff run in 1988 by trading or letting players like Jack O’Callahan, Aaron Broten, and Tom Kurvers (who turned into a draft pick that became Scott Neidermayer!) go, but Lou Lamoriello made those choices that ultimately benefitted the club. Nearly a decade and a half later, he would turn fading fan favorite Randy McKay and still productive Jason Arnott into Joe Nieuwendyk and young Jamie Langrenbrunner. Both would help the Devils win their last championship and Langenbrunner would play almost a decade in New Jersey. The salary cap is the reason that Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd became Thrashers/Jets and did not remain Blackhawks.
The fear that trading Callahan could disrupt the lockerroom and alter the season is valid, but let’s be honest; unless the Rangers get some consistent offense from a line that isn’t the French Canadian-Norwegian connection, are they really serious Stanley Cup contenders? Also, the dynamic of the Rangers has changed. Gone are Dubinsky, Anisimov, Prust, Fedotenko, and Del Zotto. A new younger core including Kreider, Zuccarello, Talbot, and perhaps Miller, the two Swedes, and maybe even Anthony Duclair will eventually fill the room sooner rather than later.
Callahan’s presence and on-ice production might not be replaced immediately (even with his already-reduced role under the Vigneault regime) but this is an opportunity to target a young player with upside on an entry level contract that can be under the Rangers’ control for the next six to eight years (Read: cheap/young talent) plus acquire a relatively high draft pick. Veteran Chris Stewart’s name has been floating around, but other young up-and-comers like Matthew Nieto (San Jose), Devante Smith-Pelly (Anaheim), Jason Zucker (Minnesota), or Brandon Pirri (Chicago) cold be acquired depending on the market (Mr. Vanek you set it) and how desperate teams are to win. Additionally the Rangers have some young players in Hartford who can audition for the rest of the year to fill Callahan’s ice time. Jesper Fast, another right wing has been playing very well recently and already has eight games of NHL experience. J.T. Miller, although a center, is always an option. If Pouliot wasn’t attached at the hip to Brassard and Zuccarello, he too could warrant more ice time.
Just because Ryan Callahan is traded doesn’t mean he’ll be gone forever. If players like Glenn Anderson and Darren Langdon, who had brief Rangers careers, are welcome to alumni events and always get a standing ovation when shown on Garden Vision, Ryan Callahan will definitely be welcomed back with open arms. Even if there are any bitter feelings this won’t become a Jean Ratelle divorce. Callahan isn’t the kind of person to hold grudges. And many of us remember Mark Messier burying the hatchet with Dave Checketts, Tom Seaver making up with the Mets, and eventually Yogi and the Boss did as well.
Hopefully Callahan, agent Steve Barlett, and Glen Sather reach a compromise of somewhere around $6 million for a multiyear deal and all of this trade talk and saying goodbye to the heart and soul of the Rangers is nothing more than a fantasy, and there’s every chance that what Sather gets back is less productive then what he did from trading Brian Leetch (a little bit of Kondratiev, Immonen, and an unfortunate short career for Michael Sauer) but it would be a disservice to the longevity of the organization , to the paying customers, and to the potential to stay competitive for as long as possible and ultimately win a championship to let Callahan walk for nothing come July 1.

Photo by Getty Images.


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  1. I think its quite obvious that unless Cally lowers his demands considerably, he has to be traded.

    However, I sincerely hope the Rangers can get a better return (which I’m sure Sather will) than the players you mentioned.

    The Rangers really need to upgrade their poor farm system and trading Callahan would put them in the right direction.

  2. Oleo-Most teams know Cally is a rental so there will be the low ball offers coming. At least those players are good pieces that can fill a prominent role for the next 5-7 years at low cost and have upside. They’re not going to get a Tony Amonte back. Get a good piece, a high pick, and swing for the fences with that pick with a player like Josh Ho Sang.

  3. Good morning, boneheads!

    Nice post, Michael! Thank you.

    Agree with everything, but the deal has to be right. I don’t think Sather should trade him for whatever he can get. Realize this, having Callahan for the playoffs this year may mean going one round deeper than without him. From the fans’ perspective it would mean adding some extra playoff experience for young players. For Mr. Dolan it would mean additional income. It also gives both parties a little extra time to negotiate before the end of June.

  4. Where’s the “It’s Go Time!” for USA-Sweden? Tuning in late, 3-0, looks like the expected gold medal final vs. Canada.

  5. Good written, well done. After mandatory (and well-deserved)hallelujah, solid enough arguments for the trade… agree with most of it, but, emotions aside, would like to emphasize – there is NO alternative to his trade IMHO.

  6. Our girls practically guaranteed silver. As for the – they just ignore it by some reason, misogynistic morons. Wouldn’t dare to say it about this blog.

  7. Suzannne Mundle on

    Well written piece. To those of us who don’t regularly follow the game, this piece made it easy for me to get caught up. Keep it coming!

  8. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Awesome *Guest Blog*! Great job.

    The USA women are awesome. Such relentless puck pursuit. Really fun to watch.

  9. One player isn’t going to make the Rangers advance one round deeper in the playoffs, unless that player is Sid Crosby, Pavel Datsyuk, Geno Malkin or Alex Ovechkin.

  10. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    @ShawnHutcheon 8m
    After 2 periods in #Sochi, Bozek has 3 points; Knight has 9 shots; Decker is +3; Marvin 16:31 TOI; Chu is 8 for 8 on face offs. #USA

  11. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    The Women’s team has only 2 left handed shooters. We might want to sign some of those Right Handed Women to NYR.

  12. Thanks, Michael. Nice write up.

    It can’t be said enough…those *sweaters* in the pic above are just so freakin’ awesome!

  13. _Most teams know Cally is a rental so there will be the low ball offers coming._

    And this will hold if teams are apathetic about renting him or seeing a rival rent him.

  14. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Do any of you guys use the APP called “Untappd” for beer ratings and such?

  15. *No* Corsi.

    Manny, I downloaded it recently. I don’t post any info on there, but I have found it can be helpful to see what’s good in your area.

  16. A bunch of people on there have crappy taste, though.

    Like the guy who posts that he found Heineken Light somewhere.

  17. Untappd can make you feel *good* about yourself …

    Matt is drinking a Narragansett Lager by Narragansett Brewing Company
    2 minutes ago

  18. *Two Thumbs Up* Michael Aker!

    You did forget the MONTEKRISTO waiting in the wings, but he really hasn’t had the chance to put on a blueshirt yet.

    I *don’t* want to see Cally gone, but I get the business decision. Nothing is really done, until it’s official. It pretty safe to say we aren’t getting an “Oshie” in return.

  19. You know, letting Callahan walk then throwing $6MM per over 4 years at Orpik would be the Sather-est thing ever.

  20. Manny-O-War, King of Metal on

    Oh. That sounds boring. I thought if we were friends we would see in depth beer ratings and since I *trust* both of you idiots I thought it might be a good thing.

  21. Siouxperman
    “…Hey, any idea where this Oshie kid came from…”
    From two hockey inspired parents, who did it not too far from your backyard.

  22. I’ve heard that browsing *Untappd* in your *UNTUCKit* shirt gets you bonus points. So there’s that.

  23. Lots of great hockey over the weekend. Looks like it’s going to be Sweden vs Russia/Finland playing the winner of USA vs Canada.

    Do you see any upsets?

  24. I can’t believe Oshie is focused only on our troops and not on the policemen and firemen guarding and saving our lives every day right here in the USA. Pretty narrow-minded, really.

  25. Replacing Cally’s grit, leadership, and courage will be more than difficult, and all those qualities will certainly not come from Hartford this year. Thank you, Michael.

  26. gregm_oldsection403 on

    Great post. well written. and, yes, $7m is too high. Trade him or sign him for $6m or less, and Cally can stay.

  27. trading Callahan would be a very bold thing to do for a team, that is arguably, the 3rd best team in its conference. the Rangers cannot overpay Cally by to much. they have others coming right behind him that will be looking for big money. if you give Cally 7 mil, what do you give Stepan in a year? Stepan has lead the team in scoring. something Cally has never done, and he is always in the top 2 or 3 leading scorers on the team every year. how about Zucc, he is do this off season. Staal is right around the corner. if you overpay one, you will have to overpay the rest.

  28. Another scary moment – Zuc was hit by puck and injure his hand in game vs. Austria (Norwegians didn’t disclose MRI result).

  29. Where does Zucc’s hand fall on his tiny little body? Does this go down as an upper or lower body injury?

  30. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Nice write up Michael. I’d Hate to see Cally go but, assuming the reports are accurate, he wants too much money for too many years, and he is injury prone. His numbers, goals and assists, can easily be replaced, however, his heart and balls are as big as mountains and will be difficult to recapture.

    Perhaps a package of Step and Cally could net a top line talent. Maybe Cally, Step, and Hags for Kane and Ladd assuming the cap fits…

  31. I think Bylsma hates McDonagh. he has him play some of his shifts on the right side. HIS OFF SIDE! its just not fair. McD should tell Bylsma that he is more comfortable on the left.

  32. Counterpoint: If McDonagh had played on his off side the entire season, would we not have been a better team?

  33. you are assuming that MDZ would have picked up his game, I guess. I don’t make that assumption.

  34. as far as Ladd from the Jets go. do you offer up Miller to get him. if he were to become available? so Cally to the Blues for Stewart, and Miller to the Jets for Ladd.

  35. Bulldog, it’s time to find a new mantra. You’ve beaten this one into the ground already.

    Some players can play both sides effectively. Some can’t so they shouldn’t be exposed. End of story.

  36. _as far as Ladd from the Jets go. do you offer up Miller to get him. if he were to become available? so Cally to the Blues for Stewart, and Miller to the Jets for Ladd._

    No no no no no no no. Jesus no. If we made those two moves I would die.

  37. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    When Cally looks at the fat contracts Sather has “Dolaned” out, he looks no further than Richards’ deal. You know #24 looks at what #19 earns relative to his effort and compares it what he, the captain, does and it’s logical for Cally to want big $$$.

  38. Right. Remember when we had to scratch Callahan in the playoffs because he wasn’t producing and wasn’t compensating for a lack of production by working his butt off? Yeah, me neither.

  39. I love Ladd, but I don’t see how giving up Miller helps this team long term. Cap era you need young and cheap production and right now he’s far and away our second best bet.

  40. I think the argument for not paying Cally is, you don’t pay guys who are not big scorers that kind of money, and the chain reaction it causes with other contracts down the road. effort and leadership from Cally have never, and should never be questioned.

  41. I know I beat this to death, but the way Richards’ contract is designed (so he retires rather than play the last three seasons for $1M per), is actually $9.5 M per for six seasons.

  42. I don’t see a lot of options for for the Rangers on getting a win/win deal in trading Cally. St. Louis would be the best fit, and they are looking to dump Stewart on the Rangers, and save them $4M from next years payroll.

    If a team offers up a 2nd round pick, is that a better option over Stewart? Stewart is 26, 6’2, 231 pound winger that has had 64 season in 2010?

    You get 1 year to see if he fits with the Rangers, or do you take a pick that might make the team in 3-4 years?

  43. I’m just not sure I like that approach. Paying for points is how you end up with a guy like Richards who is a minus in most other facets of the game. If ever we’re to make an exception, and a logically reasonable one that won’t lead to dominos, its Callahan.

  44. Kristo to the Jets for Ladd? Maybe?

    Is Ladd the player that gets the Rangers over the top this year?

    I’m not sure anything does, without Nash’s line producing. Right?

  45. Sioux, I’m on your path but differently, I think. A 2nd isn’t enough, you’re looking for a pick/prospect that you can expect to get Stewart production out of without paying $4MM per for it. Just no reason to take him on for Callahan.

  46. If the Rangers trade Callahan and keep Richards on payroll, that will be a monumental mistake that will cripple the franchise for years to come.

    I don’t view signing Callahan as anymore of a risk than signing Dustin Brown or Zach Parise. Guys like that get big money for a lot of years.

    You won’t be able to replace Callahan. He will be a star for another franchise for at least 5 more years.

  47. Kristo for Ladd would be an amazing deal, yes, but I doubt Winnipeg takes close to that. I’m sure they wouldn’t take Miller straight up either.

  48. while no Slats fan
    it’s not (completely) fair to
    point out his UFA signings
    and then compare to Cally’s current situation.
    in most of those cases he was bidding against others.
    with Drury and Gomez, both were coming off good years and were coveted by other teams.
    (wasn’t it pre-Cap era, too? if so, it was their money not ours)
    unfortunately, both underachieved (and injured)
    same with Richards
    we had a desperate need and Slats beat others at the UFA game.

    don’t forget other teams have thrown BIG $$ at UFAs.

    as far as Cally,
    i don’t want to see him go but it’s hard for me to view intangibles as being in the same dollar amount as a Norris candidate or top 10 scorer.

  49. Just imagine being a fan of another team with the possibility to slot Callahan into your roster? I’d be going nuts. Basically where I was / we were thinking about Dustin Brown 3 years ago.

  50. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    The Cally situation, no matter how it goes down, won’t be pretty. Either over pay him lose him in a trade or FA. It’s all comes back to the Richards deal…

  51. He’s not bidding directly against other teams, but he is bidding against Callahan’s open market value. Not much difference.

  52. NYR_FAN

    i don’t think anyone around here thinks that Richards should NOT be bought out due re-capture problem.
    as far as
    “I don’t view signing Callahan as anymore of a risk than signing Dustin Brown or Zach Parise. Guys like that get big money for a lot of years.”

    the problem is Cally wants more $$ than Brown and more years and i’d don’t have the stats but i doubt that he puts up the same numbers or has the offensive threat of Parise to equal his salary.

    if Cally and his agent were fine for something near 6 mill for 5 years there’d probably be a contract waiting for him when he got off the plane from Russia but it doesn’t look that’s what they want

  53. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    I really think the rangers, as constituted, will win 2 rounds minimum. They will beat whatever team is the # 3 seed and the Penguins. There is no way MAF can beat the King in a 7 game series. I’m not convinced the big bad bruins are such an overwhelming favorite either. Until last year, Hank owned Boston, especially in their building.

  54. based on “open market value” idea
    then you can’t criticize Slats for any of his
    UFA signings since he was bidding against others or just wanted to shut the whole process down asap with a contract that couldn’t be refused.

    again, it’s Cally’s decision to play for the money
    it’s just too bad that i watch other players give home team discounts and/or come to a sane and beneficial agreement while it regularly seems that’s not the case with the Rangers.

  55. Although 29 other teams would be interested in Callahan I think there are only a few logical destinations. I really thinks the Red Wings would be a possibility since they have a lot of players in their last season under contract. They have a lot to move. Don’t see Winnipeg being a player there. I think Boston would love him but that’s probably not happening.

    Ducks might be a player as will Dallas. Lindy Ruff would love to have Callahan.

  56. Take Stewart and move on if Cally doesn’t do max….5yrs @ 33 million. That’s overpaying but he’s our Capt n all the intangibles

  57. The Doctor is right. The Jets are not trading their Capt. for a prospect. They want an NHL player obviously.

  58. also
    i think the term “rental” isn’t always appropriate
    in a Cap World GMs aren’t always going to “rent” a player in the hope that he’s the Final Piece to lifting the Cup.
    in Clowe’s case
    i think the Rangers really wanted him for more than the end of the season
    despite his concussions and lack of production last season
    his contract demands were too high
    still surprised that lou paid him that amount
    but, then again, things seem to (almost) always work out in lou world

  59. It’s just that the Bruins horrify me. They are a perfectly constructed playoff team. And the “until last year” means that they can still beat us.

    Also, Eddie, wife surprised me with a day of wine tasting on north Fork Long Island yesterday. Glorious.

  60. _based on “open market value” idea
    then you can’t criticize Slats for any of his
    UFA signings since he was bidding against others or just wanted to shut the whole process down asap with a contract that couldn’t be refused._

    Sure you can. The goal of a GM isn’t to win every bidding war, its to make good signings. Winner’s curse and all that. I just happen to be willing to accept the winner’s curse with Callahan where, in the past (Richards, Nash, Redden, etc), I haven’t been.

    (I was really excited about Gomez so … whatever. I’m often wrong too.)

  61. does anyone have a link that lists player salaries?
    is it (right web address?) or is it something else?

    curious what other captains and/or 3rd line forwards and/or forwards with Cally’s point production get?
    and yes
    he adds intangibles
    but again
    does that equal money that’s not far off from sid or kane or weber or malkin or chara…?

  62. My main point is that the Rangers are so far gone in left field that they may think keeping Richards and trading Cally is a good move for the franchise.

    Great GMs take calculated risks on the right players and dump the wrong ones.

    Let me ask you this. Knowing Zetterberg’s injury history and Franzen’s injury history, did that stop Kenny Holland from signing them until they are 40 years at 11 and 12 year deals, respectfully.

    The Rangers have the money. They are concerned about the years. Was Kenny Holland concerned about the years?

  63. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Manny – I have not nipped any love juice lately…no reason…too busy to enjoy a glass I suppose…

    The Boston blogs were praying that the caps win that series last year as they feared Hank as much as we fear them….

  64. Eddie: when we got the Bruins I thought we had it made. That was a great matchup. I thought we would win in 5 or 6.

    I blew it

  65. Capgeek is the best site ever but if you want to search out Callahan’s future comps ($6.5MM-ish over 6+ years), you probably just want to check Brad Richards’ comps.

  66. Richards was signed because we needed better offensive talent
    and Torts WAS a HUGE fan. thought he’d bring all the locker room intangibles to take us to Cup

    Redden was overpaid because Slats was desperate for a pp specialist. no one liked that and maybe not even Redden who seemed to play more relaxed w/o a huge contract overshadowing him in st. louis.

    Nash was a trade not a signing, which, again, was a move to get some scoring into the lineup.

    and the only person that may want to keep Richards around is Slats. no one here and with a sane mind due to how messed up the cap recapture clause was created would want to keep him. i’m sure even Richards has a moving team reserved for some time in june.

  67. Richards was the single best UFA at the Center position. He cost a lot because that’s what he cost. The new CBA has not shown that salaries are going down for AAV at all. In fact they have gone up.

    It’s going to be the same thing again if the Rangers go after Stastny. With the Cap you have to build from within, draft very well and make smart trades.

  68. Semin is such a great comp. If you want to focus on points points points there’s a guy who got paid for putting up 44 in 44 last season. I can’t imagine anyone here likes him more than Callahan, right?

  69. So we prioritize “need” in terms of scoring or best center available or PP QB from the outside but we’re ok not prioritizing keeping your captain and a solid 2nd line wing on board? Still not getting it, I guess.

  70. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Great line uttered by john heard in “Ferris Buehler”…he was spoofing on the Tom Hank’s character……”I don’t get it, I don’t get it”

    Cally’s heart cannot be replaced.

  71. never said it was ALL about points
    players who put up a lot of points
    and especially those who do that
    on a regularly basis
    get BIG contracts

    if want to justify and shell out a BIG contract to Cally
    due to his intangibles
    then you should not criticize the Drury contract
    because he brought with him a whole history of intangibles plus a fairly consistent point production.
    just bad luck that luck that he got here and it all fell apart.

  72. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Manny – I thought we’d beat the Bruins too. Tho I preferred Toronto last year. Had Game 1 gone in our favor….ya never know….

  73. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Callahan will make a great coach someday. His long term future will revolve around hockey….he should give a hometown discount if he really loves the Rangers….but then so should every player following him that is in line to be paid…

  74. Canada — Switzerland: already 3-0. One of the great rivalries in sports coming up on Thursday @ 21:00. Need the other hockey nations to step up soon or they’ll scrub it from the Olympics, but for now a dead-even match-up between two great teams.

  75. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Wish we were playing the Hawks tonight….these Olympics and all the commercialism can’t end soon enough….

  76. LOL:

    FOR RELEASE: Monday, Feb. 17, 2014

    Game-winning momentum is just an illusion

    ITHACA, N.Y. – When a team goes on a multi-game winning streak, it has nothing to do with momentum, according to a new study in the journal Economics Letters. By examining varsity college hockey teams winning and losing record, Cornell University researchers discovered that that momentum advantages don’t exist.

    “Whether it’s sports commentators or stock analysts who are talking, momentum is routinely assumed to be important on a day-to-day basis,” said Kevin M. Kniffin, a postdoctoral research associate at Cornell’s Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. “In our evidence, we see that momentum is really just illusory.”

    Kniffin and Vince Mihalek, a four-year veteran of Cornell’s men’s ice hockey team, examined 916 games over a six-year period from the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (NCAA, Division 1). Teams in that league regularly play two-game weekend series, which the researchers explain “presents a uniquely ripe environment for momentum to potentially occur.”

    Because of student academic obligations during weekdays, NCAA Division 1 hockey programs tend to play their games on weekends – offering a temporal parity that ensures uniform times between games and reduces home-ice advantage factors.

    Within the WCHA, uniquely, the home team hosts visitors for games that start on Friday and Saturday nights in the same arena, says Kniffin. “In other words, if you’d expect to see momentum occur from one game to the next, this would be the exact situation where it would occur.”

    The study shows that winning the first game of a two-game series does not affect the probability of winning the second. Further, the researchers discovered that “running up the score” by winning the first game by a large margin, neither increases nor decreases the probability of winning the second game, when quality and talent are considered balanced.

    Said Mihalek: “Lots of coaches preparing for two games in a weekend against different opponents will tend to focus more practice time on the first of the two opponents, partly because of the belief in momentum,” Mihalek noted. “The new paper shows no evidence of momentum across games within a weekend, and, instead, we suggest that teams focus on winning the first game of a weekend because it helps to ensure that they won’t end any given two-game set with a losing record.”

    The study, “Within-Series Momentum in Hockey: No Returns for Running Up the Score,” will be published in the March 2014 print edition of Economics Letters.

  77. JPG: I think its closer to me saying I wouldn’t have blamed Buffalo for giving out Drury’s contract and I wouldn’t have. If some part of intangibles comes from leadership, you can’t just assume that transfers over completely (or at all) which leads to the whole “more value to us than to anyone else” debate. Like I don’t doubt Callahan would be a bad UFA contract going to Buffalo for 7 years at $7MM or whatever his open market price would be, but I still think it would be equally bad for us to lose him. I don’t even know if that makes sense, but its like the opposite of a zero sum, just a lose-lose. The best move for the Rangers and for Callahan (and for whatever hypothetical team would end up getting Callahan in free agency) is Callahan never leaving NY. His value drops upon walking out the door.

  78. There you go, that’s what I’m trying to say: Its a mistake to overpay to buy another team’s intangibles. I’m not sure its a mistake to overpay to retain your own.

  79. how’s this for a scenario?

    Cally gets his BIG contract from buffalo or somewhere else
    but not from Slats
    ends up getting bought out
    after the league has another lockout due to
    owners/GMs inability to stop handing out outrageous contracts
    and retires as a Ranger
    in his last year or two in the league

  80. how much are you willing to overpay, MrD. and what if your overpay costs you Staal, and or Stepan? what if you are forced to trade Zucc? or you can’t sign Girardi? I think 6 mill is an overpay I am willing to do, but only at 5 years. anymore money or years, I let him walk, or move him.

  81. “Intangible Momentum”. Another example of pseudo-science with zero value(except sawing off and chewing given grants).
    Same for me like something like: “Moon fazes influence on snail’s menstrual cycle”.

  82. In terms of your list, I’d say Stepan would upset me the most if Callahan hurt their chances of keeping long term. Staal has been great but gets injured a lot. Zucc I have trouble believing maintains this pace so I’d be really wary about paying him now for a potential career year. Girardi I think has the same (or greater) collapse potential as Callahan.

  83. The Doctors point is correct though. You’re either overpaying Callahan or overpaying a UFA. Which is it gonna be?

  84. and I like you much better when you talk hockey MrD. I find your views interesting, though usually different from mine. it is when you mock others you lose me.

  85. And even if you overpay Callahan or Girardi there will always be a team out there that will take a chance On them in a low cost trade.

  86. boxcareddiehospodar on

    If we have so much promising talent in the minors why are stepan and hagelin still playing?

    give callahan 6 mil for 5 years, trade hagelin and stepan and bring some other kids up to play.

    the money we save on stepan and hagelin offset callahan.

  87. now if you tell me you can get real good value for Girardi in a trade at the deadline, I would be more inclined to really overpay Cally.
    I know I have joked about McD playing the right side in the olympics, but maybe he would be the answer to first pair D on the right if you moved Giradi. McD and Staal first pair.

  88. I only mock people who ask me to mock them, bull dog. I’d much rather just sit and talk hockey as well.

  89. boxcar,
    I get the impression you don’t like Stepan and Hagelin.
    I am a big Stepan fan, but I would consider moving him in the right deal. I am not sure AV’s system fits Steapn. his skating is average, and you need to skate for this system.

  90. You may as well keep both at this point, right? Henrik’s extension means we aren’t rebuilding any time soon and the worst thing a team can do is a partial rebuild. Stay the course, avoid bringing in other team’s B free agents and A free agent prices and hope.

  91. And trading Stepan, especially now, would cause me to super puke. Teams would line up for a guy his age and production. You steal his type when other teams are down on them, not be the team to deal them out.

  92. it would have to be a great deal MrD. like I said, I am a big Stepan fan, so trading him would not make me happy.

  93. in the 6 or so shifts Stepan had yesterday, I thought he played well. smart in his own end. not sure who I would replace to play him in the qtr’s, but I think he would do well if called upon.

  94. Agreed.

    I would pull Blake Wheeler. But that’s just me. His size is nice to have around the crease as well. Stepan might be the odd man out due to depth at Center.

  95. I was thinking Wheeler while watching the game, and then he went and had those 2 awesome shifts in a row.

  96. I wish the Bruins never won that Cup so I could really hammer away at my friends over watching Kessel and Wheeler.

  97. (Of course, if the Bruins don’t win that Cup, I only have like 1 or 2 Bruins fans friends rather than a dozen so who knows.)

  98. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Perhaps even bigger than momentum is desperation. P imagine more players hate losing more than they love winning….

  99. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Cornell is in Ithaca. Ithaca produced Dustin Brown. Brown is captain of the Kings. The kings won a cup. Callahan wants a cup. Callahan is a captain. The captain holds the cup. Switch to direct TV and the rangers win the cup.

  100. The strongest motivation in life for a lot of people is to not be a fool or looser in the eyes of others.

  101. I only hope, that being for so many years a Rangers’ fan doesn’t make me a looser(or fool) in the eyes of Chicagoans, Bostonians, etc. ragtag…

  102. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Rd 1 : Ranges over Flyers in 6, Series winning goal Brassard
    Rd 2: Rangers over Pens in 7, Series wining goal Brassard
    ECF: Rangers over Bruins in 6, Series winning goal Brassard

    Book it

  103. Mr.D,
    If you want to teach me, please, do it right.
    Greatly appreciated…
    Your truly – Loser.

  104. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Booby – not really. The men’s figure skating outfits are frilly, tight fitting, and sparkly. The men’s ice dancing outfits are equally as glamorous….

  105. Pair skating and “ice dancing” both are figure skating, as well as singles… ask Jeff Skinner- he knows better.

  106. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    4 ever – as I mentioned – you and I are winners. We are the Misha Tals of rangers fans. Never mind MrD. He can’t even divide numbers properly.

  107. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    If I were an ice dancer, I’d go topless. My man breasts exposed, for the entire world to see….

  108. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    But seeing Brian Boyle do a triple toe, triple lutz, quad axle, hamel camel, double saw cow, flying sits spin, double toe combination – and I’d be on my feet through the wall

  109. According to a team of eggheads at Cornell, being appointed Captain is a dead end and all momentum is lost. Ever hear of a hockey Captain being named Major?

  110. Administrators trying to drive a wedge between the faculty at the University of Bologna. Union advises ‘don’t try to be a hero.’

  111. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Johnny Weir is the hard hitting, rugged, crease clearing D man the rangers need to sign. Plus, he’s pretty

  112. Any team that is not in a playoff, will take a pick or a top prospect that they could see resigning.

    I could see Winnipeg trading Ladd, as a rental. Nothing is stopping them from resigning him. Now if they wanted him bad enough they would have done that already.

    Same with the Rangers and Lundqvist.

    Ladd is very similar to Callahan, both are Captains, similar age, and both are 40-50pt players.

    If Winnipeg, isn’t going to resign him to his next contract they could be shopping him for the biggest building block.

    Kristo in the big league, AND close to home has ALOT of upside on that. I could see myself driving to Winnipeg just to watch him play. No doubt it would be the first Jets Jersey that I would own.

    But why would the Rangers trade a top asset for a rental? I don’t see Ladd helping this team, THAT much. Do YOU?

    I don’t see ANY team giving up their 1’st round draft pick, for Callahan.

  113. Ladd is signed through 2015-16, SPM. He isn’t a rental

    Just catching up, some nice hockey discussion today. Along with g(j)ibberish

  114. A decision Sather made, last year, in effect, to retain Richards and let Cally go via trade or whatever, is typical of the short-sighted mentality, around here. Hell, if Cally were a FA with another organization, Sather would be throwing the kitchen sink over 10 years at him.

  115. Ladd is great. He would replace some if what we lose with Cally but I don’t think the Jets are tossing their Capt. to us for a rental in Callahan.

  116. Buying out Richards, coupled with projected more than 10% increase in next year’s Cap will be more than enough to resign Callahan, all their projected UFA’s/RFA’s, and make some other moves.

  117. Interesting to see that from all multiple media reports, Callahan is asking for 7 year contract, even though he can get 8 years from NY- the only team that can give him that unless he gets traded. It sounds like he gave Sather a chance to match what he thinks he will get as an UFA elsewhere.

  118. can’t do it. just can’t. going to have to let him walk after this season, or try to pick up an asset or two in a trade. to much for to little.

  119. either Callahan’s agent is a big gambler, or he knows that he can get what he is looking for.

  120. Not buying it, bull dog. First, if Sather agreed to his terms, he wouldn’t sign it? Second, Buffalo isn’t making playoffs for the next 4-5 years. You think he wants to be a big part of that?

  121. I agree in this case ilb. Cally’s demands tell you he wants to leave. if he wanted to stay, he would.

  122. home ilb, home. I think if Sather agreed to his demands, the demands would change. he wants to leave.

  123. and I hope I am wrong. I hope Cally comes to his senses and realizes the Rangers offer is fair, and if he left to go to Buffalo he would fall off of the NHL’s earth.

  124. It also could be just a negotiating ploy. Hopefully it is and Callahan will sign for 5 years at 6.5m.

  125. Buffalo isn’t trading anything for him, they don’t have to if they sign him July 1’st. That’s where the gamble will be, and I think Sather calls Cally bluff, because there is NO WAY he is getting a 7 year 6.5M contract in New York.

  126. If Lou got NOTHING for Parise, how are we supposed to get anything for Cally if he wants to leave.

  127. Lou gambled, and thought Parise would sign with the Devils in the summer.

    Parise had his eye on MN the whole time, and the Contract wasn’t THAT bad either. Who passes up that kind of money?

  128. Am I the only one who, if given the choice, would take Callahan at 7 x $6.5MM over either Nash at 4 x $7.8MM or Richards at 6 x $6.67MM?

  129. Yeah, I guess with. I meant his tradeoff of not trading. Which is what I’d rather do with Callahan if we’re getting peak offers of Chris Stewart.

  130. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Ritchie rocket is now a county fair horse, running 3 furlongs. His triple crown days are a thing of the past. Gnash is an enigma..

  131. I would still take Nash over Cally, MrD. I just don’t se how the Rangers can justify giving Cally 7 years. ride it out and let him walk at the end, or hope someone really wants him for a stretch run this year and is willing to give you something worthwhile.

  132. eddie eddie eddie on

    Come on all you pretty women, with your hair a hanging down,
    Open up your windows cuz the callymans in town.
    Come on boys and gamble, roll those laughing bones,
    Seven come eleven, boys Ill take your money home.

    Look out, look out the callyman,
    Here he comes and hes gone again.
    Pretty lady aint got no friend till,
    The callyman comes around again, around again.

    I come from memphis where I learned to talk the jive,
    When I get back to memphis be one less man alive.
    Good morning mr. benson, I see youre doing well,
    If I had me a shotgun Id blow you straight to hell.

    Look out, look out the callyman,
    Here he comes and hes gone again.
    Pretty lady aint got no friend till,
    The callyman comes around again, around again.

    Come on boys and wager if you have got the mind,
    If youve got a dollar boys, lay it on the line,
    Hand me my old guitar, pass the whiskey round,
    Wont you tell everybody you meet that the callymans in town.

    Look out, look out the callyman,
    Here he comes and hes gone again.
    Pretty lady aint got no friend till,
    The callyman comes around again, around again.

  133. ilb,
    I would take Stewart. I think his game fits the Rangers well. also he has another year on his contract. gives you time to figure out if you want to go further with him.

  134. I’m with you, Mister D.

    Nash still has to prove he can show up in the playoffs and score. $7.8M is a lot for a tall and fancy 35 goal scorer. Concussion prone.

    Richards best days are behind him. One-trick pony now. Defensive liability.

    Cally does it all. PK, PP, hits, scores, passes, takes smart penalties, agitates, and can score 25-30G.

    Give me Cally at $6.2M for 8

  135. Great article Michael, thank you.

    Great posts all day too. I’ve read them all and the answer is clear as I see it.


  136. if you think Cally has not hit the peak of his game yet, then by all means pay him. I personally think his peak is right now, and with the way he plays, he will be slowing down.

  137. I’d take him too, bull dog. People are down on him this year, but the guy is only 26, has some size and toughness, and showed he can score in Colorado. He is in his contract year next season. I’d like to see if he turns into what Ryan Clowe was supposed to be.

  138. He scored 29 in 2012, bulldog, with 13 PPGs. He had 23 in 60 games the year before. He perfectly capable of scoring 29 or 30. No?

  139. If the Rangers didn’t have to deal with a cap, not a problem. Cally should have had a deal done before they closed the Richard/Parise type contracts.

    I’m thinking if the Rangers trade him to “ANY” team, I would want him to go to St. Louis. He has the best chance to win a cup there, and I really think that is the only team that he REALLY helps right away, as a rental.

  140. One of the reasons why other players are able to score 20+ goals is because teams have 35+ goal scorers. Those guys require 1st pairing to play against them all the time. That’s why they cost what they cost. Including Nash

  141. Stewart is probably the best value that the Rangers are going to get.

    Unless you think a #2 pick would be better for down the road, and just fill his spot with Miller/Kristo. I would be ok with that. I still think Kristo can score more than Callahan.

  142. Not sure if keeping Cally, and letting him walk at July 1’st is the best option, if you KNOW he is going to get a deal closer to his number.

    That’s some high stakes poker if you keep him, and lose.

    But then the Rangers gave up 2 2nd round picks for Clowe, and they sure didn’t win that deal.

  143. Miller & Lindber are Centers.

    Kisto is wing.

    Fast – I’m not sold on his size, and he didn’t show me a whole lot in the 9 games in a blueshirt.

    I would like to see Kristo for 9 games first.

  144. Sioux,
    its the best option if the Rangers think they can make a run in the playoffs. making a run is not that far fetched. would you take a run to the ECF with Cally, then let him walk away?

  145. The list of guys in the league who have scored 30 but I wouldn’t want over Callahan would probably fit a bunch of hands. Its not all about goals.

  146. The Sharks didn’t blink when they traded Clowe to us. He was the heart of that San Jose team.

    Should we do the same with Cally?

  147. it is certainly not all about goals with Cally. you are right MrD. question is, what are his intangibles worth.

  148. the Sharks had made a decision that they were going no further with Clowe. I don’t think the Rangers have made that decision yet with Cally. they still would like to sign him.

  149. You have to think San Jose know something about Clowe, and they knew they were not going to resign him any where near the money he got from the Devils.

    They fleeced the Rangers on that deal.

  150. Devils gambled at the best chance they had with Parise, and got nothing in return.

    Funny how they give Clowe big money. But did it help their team?????

  151. I don’t see where Kristo fits on the Rangers right now. Fast is ahead of him on the wing. there could be spots for Miller and Lindberg up the middle next year. Nash, Cally, and Zucc are on the right side.

  152. eddie eddie eddie on

    Clowe is a major force if you subtract the concussions….He would have been a tremendous Ranger.

  153. eddie eddie eddie on

    Mr. D – I disagree. At his best, Clowe was a major force and one tough SOB….not even close…

  154. eddie eddie eddie on

    Clowe of 3-4 years ago >> Callahan

    bulldog – totally agree. Healthy Clowe and the rangers beat Boston

  155. Lower peak goals, less 20+ goals, less of a leadership burden. I’m not against the player that Clowe can be, but he’s Clarkson level and that’s a level below Callahan.

  156. Hind sight is always 20/20.

    Had Clowe played and earn a Ranger contract, it would have been a good trade.

    But we gave up 2 second round picks …. for nothing now.

    Sharks have 2 good prospects, and the Devil have Clowe.

    Sharks win this deal.

  157. Clarkson level? that is pretty insulting to Clowe. I think you maybe underrating a healthy Clowe, MrD.

  158. eddie eddie eddie on

    Having watched many many Sharks games, all things being equal, healthy Clowe vs Healthy Cally – I take Clowe.

    Clowe wore the A and stood up for his mates every single game…..while cally throws a lot of checks, they arent terribly punishing…

  159. Doc – But its the contract that *Doesn’t* make sense.

    Clarkson got unreal money in Toronto….. are they happy?
    Clowe is WAY over paid for his return, and how many years are left on that deal. And with his concussion history will he play it out.
    Cally – $42M? for how long? the first 4 years sure, but what about year 5, 6, 7? Then you have noway of getting rid of the cap hit.

    It’s business, and Cally wants a BIG raise. IF he wanted to stay on Broadway he would have signed a $6M – 5 year deal. Crazy to turn down that kind of money, to go play in Buffalo, how long until their farm system is competitive? OR are they just hiring a local captain to fill the seats? That has to be apart of it. If they think he will bring back the extra $12M over 7 years.

  160. This feels a lot more of a player type preference than a value evaluation. Maybe I’m wrong, but I can’t imagine Clowe over Callahan being a more that like 20% thing. And those 20% are wrong and Callahan is the best and everyone just shut up he’s ours forever.

  161. By that logic, Sioux, Cally should take even less and go to Chicago or St. Louis or somewhere closer to winning than we are.

  162. Come, Mister Cally-man, tally me banana
    Daylight come and me wan’ go home
    It’s six mil., seven mil., eight mil. Bunch!
    Daylight come and me wan’ go home

  163. We are comparing Cally, Clarkson, and Clowe because they are all getting overpaid, on the UFA contracts.

    And what team traded for them, or kept them. They are different types of players.

    Sharks win. They traded Clowe, and are still the best team out of all three. Who did they pick? Will they pay off 3 – 4 years down the road? YUP! At least they get a return on their assets.

    Now do you trade Cally and get a return like the Sharks?

    or do you keep him and let him walk like Devils did with Parise?

  164. Cally wants security. He will play anywhere for $12M extra. Even if its the worst team in the league.


    I don’t blame him, and nobody here can either. Who would *NOT* take $12M more to play a kids game. Some times trophies are over rated :)

  165. Right. Only way I turn down 25% or whatever more money is if it’s being offered in Philadelphia. Philadelphia is gross.

  166. Who, exactly, would want to sign Cally for the dollars and years he’s asking AND give up anything of real value in exchange for that opportunity?

  167. Eddie – it’s still the big leagues. You have a Jersey in a locker, playing in front of 20,000 rabid fans for Millions of Dollars.

    I’m not sure too many players playing in the AHL would pass that up.

  168. eddie, if you cut off both arms, you would no longer be handy. And you’d have to give bad drivers the stub.

  169. And you were right about Brass, Moore, and Dors. Starters and still upside for all three. There’s good reason that Dorsett wore the A.

  170. If Cally remains adamant, and since we will draw small in return, I see him staying for the playoff push, then go free agent with the NYR still in the bidding.

  171. That’s the other side of the coin coos.

    That would be a gamble, Sather might be forced to play if he doesn’t get better offers from other teams.

  172. Sounds very plausible, Sioux. Slats wants to win and he has an outside shot. He won’t pass it up.

  173. But, what would they get, eddie? I doubt teams are lining up to pay him his years and asking price AND give Slats what he needs for this run.

  174. Callahan is gambling too. What if he gets hurt during the playoffs. With his style of play, it’s quite possible. Or does he play not to get hurt? What does that do to his value?

  175. What did we decide the right value for Clowe should have been? If its just the 2nd and 3rd without the optional 2nd, doesn’t that mean we hold out for that as a bare minimum for Callahan and if not “rent” him ourselves? Simply taking a guy like Stewart as a best offer is ignoring that Stewart likely isn’t worth as much as rental Callahan.

  176. Wow, what a question, ilb. But, from what I’ve seen he does seem to be playing all-out at Sochi. Granted, Sochi is not uber physical.

  177. eddie eddie eddie on

    I wont complain if they sign him, and would be happy……..but not for more than 5 yrs…

  178. Brian Campbell was traded to SJ from Buffalo just before he became an UFA. There were furious in SJ because he was avoiding any physical contact in order to avoid getting hurt.

  179. The Mayans urinated in their drinking water, yet a large part of the world believed them when they said the world would end 14 months ago.

  180. ilb, call me crazy, but I still firmly believe that Richards has a tacit non-contact agreement with Slats and that it has been relayed to the new coach.

  181. They were…

    I don’t see Callahan do that, but it makes it even more possible that he blocks one if Chara’s shot again. I’m sure his agent mentioned it to him.

  182. iWicky "Frag Out!!!" on

    I’ll be honest, cally reminds me a lot if drury and I think if we give cally a contract matching his demands, he will remind a lot more people of drury in a couple of years.

    5 years 6 mil per at the most and if not…best of luck cally.

    I’d love to get Stewart (and polak perhaps) from the blues for him.

    Ladd would be a good add, not sure what you give to get him.

    I would really like to add McGinn or ruutu still.

  183. Tell you what, embarrassing as it might be, I wouldn’t be overly interested in gambling a serious injury if I were in Cally’s spot. One day you’re management’s darling, the next day they aren’t taking your calls.

  184. Cally has never shut down his play. He only has one game – ALL OUT!

    Nash – not so much. When he doesn’t want to take the hits, he plays on the outside.

  185. Who brought up the Ladd name in Winnipeg?

    Winnepeg would be shopping their UFA first. They have 3 of them in Jokinen, Stetoguchi, & Stuart.

    I don’t see them trading Ladd, for rental players.

  186. ZzZz NYR ZzZz©" Don't Stepan the logo!!!"...says Greg L. on

    If other teams want Callahan , take the best draft pick and pretend Cally got injured for the remainder of the season.

  187. “Me and Healy are all out of rope to tie up my cabin cruiser, can I borrow some of that dental floss?”

  188. AV to #19: ‘Could you possibly back check a little bit now and again?’

    “The GM said I can’t get involved with any of that stuff.”

  189. ZzZz NYR ZzZz©" Don't Stepan the logo!!!"...says Greg L. on

    Wicky , in reality we wont get any player of that caliber.

    Trading Cally for draft picks is the only way to go.

    Lets say the Oilers . They suck and are gonna have a sweet pick . Trade Cally for Gagner and the top pick. Oilers get a great gritty player with offensive upside and leader .

  190. Santini, Jr: “Dad, I’m coming home with the Silver!”

    The Great Santini: “That’s the best you could do?”

  191. ZzZz NYR ZzZz©" Don't Stepan the logo!!!"...says Greg L. on

    Cally ,B Richards contract and our number one draft pick to whom ever has a bag o pucks.

  192. Yes, it’s very important that Sather save the $ and move Callahan so he can give it all to the next fat cat mercenary or broken down thoroughbred he has a crush on.

    And do we really think the return for his rental services is going to bring value to this team, this year? No chance.

    I say keep him and let him finish the year. He’ll probably be as good as any deadline pickup we might replace him with anyway.

  193. Carp

    any idea if it’s the total amount that’s the problem?
    i.e. if Slats put together a contract that wasn’t as bad as Richards but split the money out so it would average 6 point something overall but be less some years and more other years?

  194. also
    as far as the 5 vs. 7 years
    it looks as if Cally wants this to probably be his final contract
    is Slats allowed to offer a contract that matches in years but is less in price
    AND ADDS an organization job after he retires?

    don’t know if such future positions is allowed as incentive to stay

  195. Just out of curiosity, what makes everyone so sure Buffalo would pay Ryan Callahan $42-$49 million for 7 years? He may be from there. They may not really care, they might be better served by re-signing Moulson and Vanek.

  196. Stranger Nation on

    So Brown and Backes, 2 players who, most acknowledge, are better players than Cally, took hometown discounts.
    Captains, fellow Olympians, playing with original team and leave it all on the ice every game.
    While I would never begrudge any player or employee to earn as much as he can, Cally will be putting himself above the team, as he should, but as two others did not…
    Cally will STILL be making a boatload of dough if he signs here or is sent elsewhere, but will lose his connection to the franchise, particularly if he signs elsewhere for 7 years.
    This has become a prisoners’ dilemna, tied up with a Gordian knot within a Catch 22.

    Can Sather do anything without making a mess or a mockery?

  197. But Richards at 9 years nearing $7MM … totally cool. Man. There was a little 18 month or so window where I was pretty cool with Sather.

  198. But its not because cash means zero to a fan. His cap hit is our only concern and his cap hit doesn’t peak then disappear based on his actual payouts, it horrifically hangs around.

  199. It horifically hangs out and affects the cap if he’s not bought out, though :)

    Fact remains, his contract was six years, $57M ($9.5M per).

  200. I get that Carp, but that’s for the Dolans to care about. He’s never been or going to be a $9.5MM guy for us, just an overpaid floater and either a buyout or the risk of a $5.5MM cap hit nothing post-retirement.

  201.   胡晓鹏,   《庄子・人间间第四》,庄子用寓言的方法讲述了什么是文木与散木,从而提出了一个重大的哲学命题即“有用之用与无用之&#2

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