Just when we thought Ryan Callahan‘s demands could not get any more outrageous, he comes out and dominates the Colorado Avalanche last night from start to finish in front of the home fans in Madison Square Garden, scores two goals and leads the New York Rangers to a dominating 5-1 win.
Regardless, Callahan does not deserve a $7 million per year contract, given his low point totals and proneness to injury, however Rangers’ GM Glen Sather may now have no choice.
Now one game should not influence a rash decision, so let’s look at the big picture shall we? The Rangers are 15-5-1 in their last 21 games after their win over the Avalanche last night, so does Sather really want to trade Callahan this week and risk team chemistry when things are currently looking good for the Rangers?
Also, if Callahan is indeed traded, do the Rangers have enough leadership, grit and other intangibles that do not show up on the score sheet at the end of the day, but are very important to a team? I do not know the answer to that but what I do know is that after last night Sather’s job just got a little bit more difficult.
Lately, Sather has been good with getting players to give in to his demands and talk less money, like Derek Stepan last offseason for example, but I do believe this time around it is different. In this particular situation it is Callahan with the upper hand.
The reason why Callahan has the upper hand over Sather is that teams will not trade a lot of value for Callahan since he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of this season, thus resulting in a lot of teams backing off Callahan for now and waiting for free agency. This makes Sather’s Friday deadline of when a final decision has to be made look like a bluff.
Like I said, very different from the Stepan contract dispute, and largely due to the fact that Stepan was a restricted free agent while Callahan will be unrestricted this offseason. This puts an extreme amount of pressure on Sather to meet Callahan’s demands and risk losing him for nothing in the offseason and setting the franchise back.
I really hope the two sides can find a middle ground but in all likelihood, if a deal between Callahan and Sather is reached, the amount of years and figure will be closer to what Callahan wants rather than Sather.