Join us for the pre-trade deadline Live Chat at noon today. We might do another one post-deadline later in the week.
Here’s my story from The Journal News and lohud.com:
At this point, the Rangers should just hang onto Ryan Callahan
By Rick Carpiniello
Here’s the thing with Ryan Callahan. The Rangers never really “wanted” to trade him, and they never really were sure if they could re-sign him.
And they probably still feel the same way on both fronts.
As the 3 p.m. Wednesday trade deadline closes in, it appears more and more likely that the Rangers will just hang onto him.
Honestly, that’s the right way to go, barring a contender leaping into the fray with a can’t-refuse offer for the Rangers’ captain.
If the Rangers can’t get (A) a player who makes an immediate impact, or (B) a first-round pick and/or top prospects, there’s no point in dealing Callahan now.
What we saw this past weekend, in mistake-ridden losses to Philadelphia and Boston — and you could argue the impact that both opponents’ physical presence had — is that these Rangers need more players like Callahan, not fewer.
That and the fact that Callahan has backed off his demand for a seventh year on his new contract give the Rangers a chance to sign him either before or after the deadline, or before or after July 1, when the free-agent signing period begins. The Rangers were not budging on that seventh season, and while the money (more than $6 million per year) is going to be too much for a guy whose game could erode in years 4, 5 and 6 due to injuries and his style of play, wouldn’t that still be true at, say $5.5 million per?
The Rangers would surely sign him for that, right?
At any rate, NHL general managers haven’t knocked down Glen Sather’s door with offers for the rental of Callahan, and the one team that would gladly sign him for seven years, reportedly, is Buffalo — a team that’s selling, not buying, and a team that can afford to wait until July rather than sacrifice assets for him now.
So unless they’re blown away late, the Rangers should just hang onto Callahan. He says he wants to stay, and they’re closer than they’ve ever been to a deal, so keep him for the final 20 games plus playoffs, negotiate until July 1, and let it play out.
The NHL trade deadline could be a wild one this year, with so many “rental” players available, and so many sellers really cleaning house. The name Martin St. Louis won’t go away, but the Rangers won’t get him for Callahan — it would take Callahan plus, or younger players or picks. Ryan Kesler is available, but Vancouver doesn’t want a rental, and we keep hearing the Rangers won’t part with Derek Stepan-plus to get him.
Sather is sure to be involved in a big way by 3 p.m. Wednesday, with his team very much in the hunt for a playoff berth, even if it isn’t close to being a real Stanley Cup contender.
Photo by The Associated Press.