Ryan Callahan
(Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers have been rumored to be part of a trade that would send Ryan Callahan back to Manhattan. Not a good move. 

The Ottawa Senators and Tampa Bay Lightning have been in negotiations involving defenseman Erik Karlsson. Tampa Bay would have to shed some salary in order to make the deal work out, alas this is where our New York Rangers come into play.

Through social media Thursday night and Friday afternoon, Ryan Callahan’s name came up as the player Tampa Bay was talking about moving. Darren Dreger of TSN was one of the first to mention it.

The Rangers name being tossed in this deal is not surprising since, over the last few seasons, the two teams have made many transactions with one another, most recently in February 2018 when the Rangers traded Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller for Vladislav Namestnikov, Brett Howden, Libor Hajek and Tampa Bay’s first-round pick in 2018 NHL Draft and second-round (conditional) pick in 2019 NHL Draft.

The second round pick in 2019 turns into a first-round pick should the Lightning win a Stanley Cup this season.

Here is the problem with the idea of making this move. Yes, the deal could help Tampa Bay win a Stanley Cup, which would then give the Rangers their first-round pick, the 31st overall pick, but it’s the last pick of the first round. It is really an early second round pick.

The Rangers would be helping the Lightning showcase a defense that consists of Victor Hedman, Ryan McDonagh, Erik Karlsson and Anton Stralman as their top four blueliners. How does this help New York down the road?

Let’s put that on the side for a moment. If the rumors and speculation are indeed correct, the Rangers would take Ryan Callahan, their former captain, and his two remaining years at an annual average cap hit of $5.8 million.

Callahan’s contract also has a modified no-trade clause in it which means he would have to have the Rangers as one of the potential teams he would be willing to come to. The 33-year-old forward had shoulder surgery at the end of this past season and is expected to be out of the lineup until mid-November (he was expected to miss four to five months following the surgery).

As great as a player he was in New York, Callahan has never played a full 82 game season in his career. He will be 35-years-old when his current contract is up and unfortunately his body tends to break down through the year as the season stretches out.

The Lightning would have to sweeten this deal a ton for it to be even slightly worthwhile. Tampa Bay and or Ottawa would need to include draft picks and, most likely, a roster player to entice the Rangers to take Callahan.

In my personal view, this deal should be rejected from every angle.

The Rangers are in the midst of a serious rebuild right now. Callahan would probably walk from the team in two years anyway. The focus is already being placed on next season’s salary cap with the hope of signing a top free agent, Artemi Panarin, perhaps, to acquire fire through the Rangers offense.

The deal makes no sense and truly benefits the Lightning’s chances at winning more championships.

Stay away from this deal. Don’t’ get sucked into bad decisions similar to years past.

Ryan Callahan will forever remain a beloved New York Rangers captain, but no chance does a return to Madison Square Garden make sense.

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  1. They won’t be taking a bag contract back for free. There could be other young pieces coming back for the rebuild just to rent cap space. Depending on the return it can be worth it

  2. Brutal….
    This article is TURIBLE’JUS’TURIBLE….
    Grow a set Frankie….
    This is a rebuild with youth…
    This team is soft, lacks heart and desire.
    IF you watched ECF, would noticed Cally was one of the top players on the ice.
    Would be an ideal fit as leader and role model for two years.
    Your #31 is just a second?? Thats just childish and stupid, guarantee GMs dont share that thought. Every year teams scramble to get into end of first… come to think of it some very good prospects were still sitting there at 31 and later this year.
    AND you figure the return may be giving up the 2019 first, giving the 2nd…. AND getting the following years 2020 #2 if they hoist the Cup.
    For being a long time fan as stated, you sure seem short sighted. Cally is an ideal add for a roster depleted of heart by the previous coach.

    And on top of that you then whine about what another teams roster will look like??
    By the time NYR is competing again, for Cups, TB would not be able to keep roster intact.

  3. Frank

    You obviously don’t understand the premise of taking on someone else’s salary headache. The NYR would take Cally back not to be the leader they currently lack. They are willing to take on bad salary to get the other pieces they need. Along with Cally the NYR would receive the pieces they are looking for to further their rebuild. That is why names like Kucherov (wishful thinking) and other young assets have also been mentioned. The NYR would take bad contract ONLY with the other assets.