When Ryan Callahan was shipped off to Tampa at the trade deadline for Martin St. Louis, I don’t think many us thought he’d end up re-signing with the Lightning this offseason.
But the marriage down on the west coast of Florida seems to be going better than anticipated as Callahan has produced at a frenzied clip with a combined six goals and four assists in the 14 games since his arrival, while Tampa is 8-2-4 in those 14 games, clinching a playoff birth for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
Here’s a sweet back-hand goal from Callahan against the Canadiens on Tuesday night…
Now, because of the chemistry Callahan seems to have created with the Lightning organization as well as their fan base, signing an extension with the Bolts seems like a reality.
Callahan’s agent Steve Bartlett confirmed to ESPN.com that Tampa GM Steve Yzerman has made it clear they’d like to talk extension after the season.
Here’s Yzerman on his team’s interest in re-signing the former Rangers captain…
“Yeah, we’d love to sign him,” said Yzerman. “He’s a good fit, a good person, a good player, has style of play that really complements our group well; he’s fit in really well. So we hope to sign him. But we won’t talk until after the year.”
If the Bolts re-sign Callahan they would have to forfeit their 2015 second round pick to the Rangers. However, the Blueshirts would be forced to send back a 2015 seventh round pick. (H/T Neill).
…wow, maybe Callahan will get paid handsomely this offseason. While he won’t be in New York, Bartlett will have saved face if he could get Tampa and possibly Buffalo in a bidding war for his client’s services.
…it’s easy to sit here and second guess the trade by merely looking at Callahan’s numbers vs. St. Louis’, but the only thing that matters are the records and the Rangers have put up an equally impressive 10-4-1 run since the transaction. So it looks like this trade ended up, for the time being, working out for both organizations. How insane would it be if the Rangers ended up facing off against Callahan in the Conference Finals with a berth in the Stanley Cup Finals on the line. It’s not too far fetched.
…i also have to acknowledge the outstanding job Sather has also done making up for the two draft picks he gave up along with Callahan by signing college free agents Haggert and McCarthy. Definitely lightens the blow of giving up such a big package to get St. Louis.