The trade status of New York Rangers captain Ryan Callahan and defenseman Dan Girardi continues to attract considerable interest around the NHL. New York Post columnist Larry Brooks reports there were no contract talks between Rangers GM Glen Sather and the pair’s representatives during the Olympic break. He claims Sather is willing to move the pair before the trade deadline rather than risk losing them for nothing to free agency.
TSN’s Darren Dreger said he was told it’s “99 percent guaranteed” Callahan will be traded, noting rumors have linked him to the St. Louis Blues and Tampa Bay Lightning. Dreger claims there’s still some discussion between Sather and the Girardi camp, but if he’s unsigned by March 5 he’s also all but certain to be dealt.
It’s believed Callahan seeks a seven-year deal worth $6.75-million per season, while Girardi wants around $6-million per season. Dreger’s colleague Bob McKenzie claims there’s a difference of $500,000 per season in what Girardi seeks and what the Rangers are offering.
While the possibility exists for Girardi to be re-signed, Callahan and Sather are waiting to see who blinks first. Callahan claims he wants to remain a Ranger, but Sather wants to keep him at a more affordable price.
If Sather shops Callahan there might not be many clubs willing to pay an expensive asking price for a pending unrestricted free agent. This season’s reduced salary cap makes it tougher than usual to make deals. There will certainly be interest in Callahan, but Sather could be forced to accept less than he wants come deadline day.
IS ST-LOUIS HEADED OUT OF TAMPA?
Eyebrows were raised earlier this week over a report claiming the Rangers offered Callahan to the Tampa Bay Lightning straight up for Martin St-Louis. The Lightning captain was upset over being initially passed over for Canada’s Olympic men’s hockey team, whose executive director is Lightning GM Steve Yzerman.
The Tampa Bay Times’ Damian Cristodero acknowledges the 38-year-old winger’s initial exclusion from Team Canada strained his relationship with Steve Yzerman, who rejected the Rangers’ offer. That put to rest talk of St-Louis heading to New York, but questions persist over his future in Tampa Bay.
St. Louis told The Tampa Tribune’s Erik Erlendsson he had conversations with Yzerman about his future, but declined to elaborate. His brief response won’t silence the rumors. It’s unlikely the Lightning moves St-Louis at the trade deadline, but speculation will carry over into the off-season.
MILLER’S TRADE FATE SEALED?
Buffalo Sabres GM Tim Murray has announced he’s ready to do business. Murray told The Buffalo News’ John Vogl his goal is to “pursue a proper trade” of goaltender Ryan Miller. Vogl reports re-signing with the Sabres isn’t Miller’s first option. Murray said he hopes to move him to a contender.
Murray also hasn’t held contract talks with Matt Moulson, Steve Ott and Henrik Tallinder. Like Miller, they’re slated for unrestricted free agency this summer. Murray claims he’d prefer to keep Ott, but admits there’s considerable interest in the Sabres’ captain.
Miller’s been linked to the St. Louis Blues, Minnesota Wild and Washington Capitals. Moulson could interest the Los Angeles Kings, Ottawa Senators, New Jersey Devils and Pittsburgh Penguins.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports a rumor in which Miller would be part of a three-way trade involving the Blues and Wild. The deal would also involve Blues goalies Jaroslav Halak and Jake Allen. Dreger didn’t say who would go where, dismissing it as the kind of rumor mongering common at this time of year.
Rumor Roundup appears weekdays only on thehockeynews.com. Lyle Richardson has been an NHL commentator since 1998 on his website, spectorshockey.net, and is a contributing writer for Eishockey News and The Guardian (P.E.I.).
For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.