Here’s my unedited story from The Journal News and lohud.com:
By Rick Carpiniello
As the Rangers headed into their 3 p.m. Wednesday trade deadline, it appeared more and more likely that Ryan Callahan would remain with the team as its captain.
The Rangers, who play Toronto this evening after the deadline, had made strides toward a new contract with Callahan on Tuesday, though into the evening a deal was not imminent.
It was believed that GM Glen Sather and Callahan and his agent Steve Bartlett had closed the gap once Callahan dropped his demands for a seventh year. If it happens, it is expected Callahan will be signed for six years at slightly more than $6 million per season with a limited no-trade or no-move clause.
It remained a possibility that the two sides could stall and that Callahan be traded before the deadline, but far less likely than it had been even two days earlier.
Callahan, less than three weeks short of his 29th birthday, has all along said that he wants to remain a Ranger, as he has his entire career to this point. Coach Alain Vigneault has said all along that he believes the sides will get it done.
But it sure didn’t appear it would happen with Callahan’s demand for a seventh year and north of $6.5 million per. What may have changed that was Sather’s poker move, allowing Bartlett to seek a team willing to go to a seventh year, and thus convincing Callahan that there might not be much of a market for him at that price.
The Rangers could be very active in the trade market today, though it appeared Tuesday they had fallen out of the limited sweepstakes for Vancouver center Ryan Kesler , who reportedly will not waive his no-trade clause to rejoin coach Alain Vigneault. (John Tortorella’s team was in full sell mode, trading Roberto Luongo back to Florida Tuesday). Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Detroit are in the running for Kesler.
Already the market was exploding, including the trade of defenseman Andrew MacDonald from the Islanders to the Flyers, and also Dustin Penner from Anaheim to Washington, Stephane Robidas from Dallas to Anaheim.
Edmonton moved goalie Ilya Bryzgalov to Minnesota, making it unlikely that future Hall of Famer Martin Brodeur might be going there from New Jersey, or Jaroslav Halak from Buffalo.
Other familiar names very much the market are the Islanders Thomas Vanek – who was scratched Tuesday night – Buffalo’s Matt Moulson, Columbus’ Marian Gaborik, among many others. Los Angeles was in the market for Gaborik or perhaps Vanek. Others in rumors included the Devils’ Marek Zidlicky, Buffalo’s Chrisian Ehrhoff and Edmonton’s Ales Hemsky.
The Rangers could still pursue Martin St. Louis from Tampa Bay – it was unlikely that a Callahan-for-St. Louis package would get it done. Obviously Sather’s team needs to fill a lot of holes – scoring, physical forwards and/or defensemen, power-play point man.
Last season, Sather made deadline moves for Ryane Clowe, Derick Brassard, John Moore and Derek Dorsett, moving Gaborik and draft picks to do so. The year before he was in on a blockbuster for Rick Nash that fell apart at the deadline, but was consummated the following summer.
So expect him to be active before 3 p.m.
Photo by Getty Images.