The New York Rangers‘ 2013-14 season turned around on March 5 when the Blueshirts traded their captain Ryan Callahan and a few first-round draft picks to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Martin St. Louis. Now that the season’s over and Callahan has yet to sign with a team, there have been some rumors of him possibly returning to the Rangers. I’m here to simply tell you to stop dreaming and accept the fact he isn’t wearing a Rangers jersey again.
New York was able to perform better as a team after the Callahan deal. The reason they traded for St. Louis was for more offense, and that’s exactly what they got in return. While they played the rest of the year without a captain, multiple players, including St. Louis, took on that leadership role in the locker room and on the ice. They became a team you were able to root for and a group of brothers who were having fun just playing the sport they grew up wishing to play professionally.
Along with what I previously said, the NHL salary cap is another reason why you shouldn’t hold your breath on a Callahan return. Based on some of the contracts the Rangers currently own, signing Callahan would make it even harder to sign fan favorites like Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider and Dominic Moore. If you were even going to sign Callahan to his original demands with six years at $6 million per and a no-trade clause, he’d be your third-line winger. You really want to invest the money into that?
I get it, Ryan Callahan was the heart and soul of the Rangers for a while. But that ship has come and sailed. Rangers fans have to realize that the past is the past, and the current team they have is better without than with him. Callahan’s contract demands essentially showed him the door, so he did this to himself. If you’re looking for him to walk through that locker room door, don’t get your hopes up.