For the past couple weeks, we’ve been following the ongoing Ryan Callahan saga with the New York Rangers. The team’s captain is coming up on the final months of his three year, $12.8 million contract, and he’s a player New York would like to keep around.
There’s just one problem; the Rangers and Callahan aren’t exactly seeing eye-to-eye in terms of money.
Callahan wants seven years and somewhere between $45 and $49 million. New York, for reasons obvious, doesn’t feel the same way, reportedly balking at the request. Callahan is a solid player, and has proven to be consistently reliable during his time with the Rangers. At the same time, has he earned a $37 million raise?
The Rangers think not, and with that came trade rumors. Obviously it’d be better to lose Callahan via a trade for assets than watching another team throw truckloads of money at him this offseason while New York gets nothing. However, in hopes that this route could be avoided, the Rangers reopened contract talks this week to try and come to terms.
Apparently, this wasn’t as successful as planned. Reports are saying the team countered Callahan’s request with a five year, $30 million deal. One doesn’t need to excel at math to realize there’s a slight difference in the two numbers.
Now, the Rangers are stuck in a quandary. Due to the roster freeze thanks to the Sochi Winter Olympics, teams can’t make trades any time between 3 p.m. ET today and 11:59 p.m. ET February 23. Callahan himself will be in Sochi to play for the US National team.
All of this means that, with the NHL trade deadline occurring on March 5, the Rangers will essentially have less than ten days to figure out how this is all going to play out. One can imagine this isn’t a situation team management would like to be in.
While Callahan is overseas, expect the Rangers front office to start figuring out which side of the fence they’re going to lean towards. It’s doubtful Callahan’s rate request is going to significantly decline within the next two weeks, so if New York wants to resign him, they need to take a look at their cap and see just what type of number they believe can both please Callahan and, at the same time, not eat up a ton of space. If they decide the only route is a trade, it’ll be time to start planning the best scenario. Despite the roster freeze, numerous reports say teams have reached out about a deal, so they should have a couple propositions to consider.
Look for this to be one of the top stories as soon as the Olympic roster freeze comes to an end. Until then, the Rangers need to figure out their best plan of attack. The clock is ticking.