Ryan Callahan’s trade from the New York Rangers to the Tampa Bay Lightning was one of the biggest moves of the 2013-14 season. Based on Martin St. Louis’ performance for the Rangers following the trade and Callahan’s vanishing act in the playoffs, some may argue it was one of the weakest trades the Lighting have made in recent memory. Still, Lightning fans may feel better about the deal should Callahan stick around and produce at a high level for the club.
That scenario may never have a chance to play out as it looks like Callahan could test free agency:
Pending UFA Ryan Callahan is still talking to TB about a new deal but no one will be surprised if he goes to UFA on July 1. #TSN
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 16, 2014
Callahan is coming off of a three-year, $12.825 million contract and rumors suggest he’s seeking roughly $6 million a season. That’s a pretty steep price for a guy who has scored 67 points over the course of his last 110 regular season games and has missed significant time due to injuries over the last two seasons. If that rumored price is accurate, Tampa Bay would be wise to spend their money on other things and let another team toss Callahan a large contract.
It may not be fair to assess Callahan’s value on points alone, but it’s safe to say Lightning fans were left a little underwhelmed following the trade. Callahan may have helped the team’s forecheck, but he didn’t provide much of a spark as the Lightning were swept out of the playoffs. He could be a nice addition for a team with money to spend, but he’s not the type of player you want to break the bank to acquire.