Obviously we all know the return for sending Ryan Callahan (and whatever other parts are needed) to the Lightning would be Martin St. Louis. But what if that trade doesn't materialize? What exactly is Glen Sather looking for from the rest of the NHL in return for his captain?
According to Larry Brooks at the New York Post, the Rangers GM is hoping to get at least one NHL player and one prospect or high draft pick in exchange for Callahan.
Brooks reiterates the two side remain two-years and almost $20 million apart and Sather is more than willing to trade his captain if he can't get him re-signed by the March 5th trade deadline.
Brooks also notes that widespread belief is that the Sabres would meet Callahan's seven year, $47 million demand on the open market this summer.
…Sather is in a very advantageous position with Steve Yzerman and the Lightning. St. Louis has basically forced Tampa's hand using the Rick Nash "you better find a way to get me to New York" playbook. I have all the faith in the world that Sather sees this weakness and will attempt to exploit it. So don't expect him to overpay (ie including Miller).
…also keep in mind that just because St. Louis wants to be traded to the Rangers doesn't mean Yzerman will accommodate him. While it's not ideal to have a disgruntled captain leading your team into a playoff race, it's not like St. Louis is a guy who would lay down.
…as far as Sather's asking price for Callahan, that's not a bad haul for a player who will essentially be a rental.
…i also think having the Sabres in his back pocket has been a detriment to Callahan in these contract negotiations. It has kept him from moving off his price point and could ultimately cost him his job as the captain of the New York Rangers.
Meanwhile, Brooks reports that the Rangers have closed in on Girardi’s original asking price of six years at approximately $5.5 million per. However, Brooks isn't 100% confident that those terms are still acceptable to Girardi and wonders if the Rangers defenseman along with his good friend Callahan might pull a Parise/Suter job on the open market this summer.
And of course, what would a Callahan/Girardi rumor post be without Boomer Esiason sending Rangers Nation into a panic as he sent out this tweet last night…
— Boomer Esiason (@7BOOMERESIASON) February 27, 2014
Who is Sami Vatanen, you say? He's one of the Anaheim Ducks top defensive prospects, who has been linked to the Rangers in a possible deal for, you guessed it, Girardi.
After Boomer tweeted this out, I responded to a reader that "I'd assume" a first round pick would also be coming to the Rangers along with Vatanen for Girardi. To which Boomer responded "stop assuming."
…Boomer has proved to be very credible when it comes to these rumors, so I feel confident saying it's a real possibility that Girardi could be on his way out of New York along with Callahan.
…now that I basically have both Callahan and Girardi wearing other teams' jerseys, expect them both to be re-signed by the end of the week.
And if all of this isn't crazy enough, Louis Jean at TVA Sports reports that Ryan Kesler requested a trade at the beginning of the season and wants out of Vancouver. Jean adds that the Canucks don't want to trade him, but they might have no choice.
A monkey wrench in any attempt to move Kesler is that he might have broken his hand in the Olympics.
Bob McKenzie at TSN wonders if the Rangers would give up Derek Stepan for Kesler.
…wait? So now McKenzie and the TSN crew have the Rangers possibly trading Callahan, Girardi and Stepan? When is the trade deadline over?
…if healthy, I might actually want Kesler over St. Louis. He's younger (29), cheaper ($5M per) and his contract is longer (ends in 2015). Plus he's American. Can you say Cally for Kesler? I wonder how the coaches would feel about this one?
…tonight's game can't come soon enough.