Pros and Cons of Trading Ryan Callahan for the New York Rangers
According to TSN Insider Darren Dreger, there is a 99 percent chance the New York Rangers will be dealing their captain Ryan Callahan at the trade deadline. For weeks, it had been reported that Callahan’s demands were egregious in nature, but this is the first time that the possibility of trading the captain has become imminent.
Callahan has been a loyal player to the franchise since being drafted in 2004, and 10 years later, it appears the relationship is going to end. There are contrasting opinions as to whether or not Callahan should be shipped out, so here are the pros and the cons of a potential trade of the Rochester, N.Y., native.
Pro: Rangers Have a Chance to Corner Market
This is the first time in a long time that the Rangers will be in a position to be a huge seller on a top asset. In recent years, the Rangers have been in hot pursuit of highly sought-after players such as Ilya Kovalchuk, Brad Richards and Rick Nash.
Ultimately, the Blueshirts were successful in eventually acquiring two of the above three, but this time, the tables are turned because they have a player that many teams could be interested in.
Although Callahan is seeking a ridiculous contract, there is a good chance that a Stanley Cup contender will be willing to pay a sizable bounty to acquire the Rangers captain.
Callahan is a perfect secondary player who can handle 14 minutes at even strength and an additional two or three minutes on the penalty kill and or power play.
At the very least, there will be at least one team that will be willing to add Callahan for a run at the Cup, and there is a chance that they may be willing to re-sign him. The Rangers aren’t going to cave to Callahan’s demands, so dealing him for a return makes a ton of sense.
Con: Negative Impact Trade Could Have in Dressing Room
Ultimately, Callahan is the face of the Rangers. While Henrik Lundqvist is their best player, Callahan embodies what it means to be a New Yorker. He is a blue-collar worker—a native son of New York—and his hard-nosed work ethic resonates with the city.
He is also the leader of the team as captain, and he leads by example. There are a number of players in the dressing room who are loyal to Callahan, and some have even spoken out in support of keeping the captain.
Derek Stepan spoke with Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News, and he showed support for his captain.
I’m not saying I can call the shots. I’m biased obviously, but considering what he means to this team, what he’s taught me and what he’s meant to my pro career, it would be very tough to see him go.
Trading a captain is always a jarring move, and it could potentially impact morale in the dressing room in a negative way.
Pro: Alain Vigneault Gets to Name His Own Captain
Callahan was John Tortorella’s captain. It is even fair to say that Callahan still represents the ideals that Tortorella stood for as the Blueshirts bench boss. When Alain Vigneault took the job as coach of the Rangers last June, he was given a set roster.
He didn’t get a chance to add players who suited his style, and he didn’t have a chance to select a player that would represent his ideal.
The role of captain is to be a mediator between the players and the coaching staff. This is an important job, because the captain has to convey two messages. If the captain represents the ideals of the coach, this can help make things a little easier.
Trading Callahan would leave the captaincy open, and Vigneault could leave his mark on the Blueshirts.
Con: Rangers’ Penalty Kill Would Regress During Interim
There is no denying that Callahan is one of the league’s top penalty-killers. The above video illustrates the tenacity and passion Callahan brings to his team when it needs to make a crucial stop.
He is a fearless shot-blocker, and despite suffering numerous injuries from engaging in this practice, he still shows no hesitation when he needs to sacrifice his body.
Trading Callahan would take away one of the Blueshirts’ top penalty-killers, and that could have a negative impact on the Rangers’ special teams play.
Pro: Salary-Cap Situation Becomes Clearer
The Blueshirts have a number of players that need to be re-signed this summer, and dealing Callahan would make things easier for capologist Jeff Gorton and general manager Glen Sather.
Callahan is reportedly seeking a multiyear deal worth in the range of $6.5 and $7 million, as per Katie Strang of ESPN New York. If the Blueshirts can subtract that potential cost, they can assess how much money to dedicate to players such as Chris Kreider, Derick Brassard, Dan Girardi and countless others.
In addition, dealing Callahan could net players that could make re-signing some free agents redundant, and that, in turn, could simplify the cap situation even further.