The first trade of the day was a huge one. The New York Rangers sent captain Ryan Callahan, a 2015 first-round pick, and a 2014 second-round pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Martin St. Louis.
Callahan and the Rangers didn’t seem to be able to come to terms on a deal, and St. Louis had apparently soured on his time in Tampa thanks to being left off the Canadian Olympic roster. So in theory, it takes two players that didn’t seem to have a future and swapped them for a change of scenery.
But the cost of St. Louis is pretty substantial. Yes, the Rangers have made a statement that they intend to go all-in this year, and St. Louis will definitely help them down the stretch. But the two picks they gave up could end up being important, especially considering how deep the 2015 draft class is likely to be. It will be a wait-and-see type of thing, hinging on what New York does (or doesn’t do) in the playoffs.
The Bolts have said they are not wanting to re-sign Callahan to the type of deal he wanted with the Rangers. Whether or not he re-signs there is anyone’s guess, but it’s another case of wanting to go in for the playoffs. However, they definitely lost chemistry by dealing their captain away.
Sure, he made it clear he didn’t want to be there anymore, but GM Steve Yzerman didn’t have to trade him. In exchange for the Art Ross winner, they get a bruising, tough-as-nails player that, while good, cannot match the point totals St. Louis puts up.
At first glance, this seems like a bit of a “did they really have to do that?” type move for both sides. Once the playoffs start, we’ll get our answer.