St. Louis Dealt For Callahan.

The New York Rangers have traded winger Ryan Callahan, a first-round pick in 2014 and a conditional second round pick in 2014 to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Martin St. Louis.


Lightning ship Martin St. Louis to Rangers for Ryan Callahan.

Lightning ship Martin St. Louis to Rangers for Ryan Callahan.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: This move could be the blockbuster of the day , as well as the most surprising. Sure, it was rumored last week but few expected it would actually happen. It’s also a true hockey trade, swapping a couple of star players.

 This move is a winner for the Rangers in the short term, adding a high-scoring, respected veteran in St. Louis who can replace the leadership of Callahan. He has one season left on his contract, after which he could re-sign with the Rangers if he chooses.

It’s probably a short-term move for the Lightning, unless they’re willing to pony up the expensive asking price (seven-year, $6.75 million per season) to keep him in Tampa Bay. The draft picks can be seen as insurance in case Callahan departs this summer, but I don’t see how this move improves the Lightning’s scoring.  Perhaps it will lift the uncertainty and tension which hovered over the Bolts since St. Louis was initially passed over for Team Canada by Steve Yzerman.

I realize Yzerman’s critics are busting his chops about not selecting St. Louis for Team Canada, but who expected the Lightning captain to take it that badly? Still, he could’ve told St. Louis to wait until the summer. Unless things were more volatile than we believed, and unless Yzerman can make another move to bolster his lineup, moving St. Louis now makes no sense.

TSN reports if Callahan re-signs with the Lightning the Rangers receive a draft pick from the Bolts. If the Rangers advance to the Eastern Conference Final, that second round pick they’re sending to the Bolts becomes a first round pick.


  1. Wow!

  2. St. Louis was easily the most dangerous player in Sunday’s tilt vs Avs. This is a major loss for a Lightning team looking to make some noise in this year’s playoffs.

  3. wow. loved Callahan but st louis is elite playmaker. Ranger fan is happy with outcome.

  4. Stupid Rangers. They never learn. Give up old vets in hopes of making a super-team. They just gave up potentially two future corner stones of their franchise (1st and 2nd round picks) and their Captain for a 38 year old guy. Let’s be serious. Does anybody really think the Rangers are a favorite to win it all this year?

    • Rangers can beat Pittsburgh (top 2 D out and goalie is…). Boston is another story.
      This shows the market for Callahan as a rental-Rangers window in next few years with Henrik. 1st round pick was a shock for sure. The Rangers hole is offensive-St Louis is better all around than Vanek or other trade options

    • *** Note on the above *** “Give up vets…” should have been “Get vets…”

    • Don’t know that it’s a stupid move. Better to get something than nothing. They’re not exactly a strong drafting team (Kreider is the only notably decent draft pick of late) and Callahan doesn’t score goals.

      It’s frustrating that this move looks remarkably like the late 90’s moves that I despised. However looking at the return, the rangers managed to get some value out of a go nowhere negotiation. St. Louis surely replaces Zuccarello in the short term, and adds scoring depth over the next year.

      My only concern is, as was the case in acquiring Nash, the Rangers seem to be rather low on gritty impact players again. JT Miller seems poised to take a similar role but I have my doubts regarding overall grit.

      • Given the value that UFA rentals seem to be fetching, I think the Rangers would have been better off trying to get a 1st or 2nd for Callahan.

        This deal only make sense if the Rangers are a major force and St. Louis puts them over the top. St. Louis has at best a season or two left.

        But, that said, I may very well eat my words. Two years ago the Kings looked like a team ready to be bounced in the first round of the playoffs. They traded for Jeff Carter at the deadline, and the 8th seeded Kings won the cup. This trade could be the same thing all over again.

  5. If Rangers make it to Conference Finals, the 2nd round pick becomes another 1st. So potentially two 1st round picks. If Callahan signs with TBay, the Rangers do get a pick back .. not sure what it is though.

    • Rangers can’t get over the hump to make Finals with Henrik still in prime. The more i think about it the Rangers probably could of sent those 2 picks for Vanek or less for Gaborik AND kept Callahan for a run….or picks for Cammalleri and kept Callahan.
      I was originally happy for the power play but the more I think about it…And St Louis trade options were SMALL for Yzerman….hmmm

  6. The thing people seem to be forgetting is that Callahan was still looking for at least $6.3m a season! This is a guy who gave a lot in character and effort but will always miss plenty of games through injury and 45 points will be about his limit, therefore, he’s not worth the cost to re-sign him. I credit Sather for sticking to his guns and not over-paying on a 6 year contract when the guy is pretty much Chris Drury 2.0, I think Callahan unfortunately will be struggling to play at this level in 5-6 years given his style.
    Getting St. Louis saves the Rangers money compared to the $6m they were willing to pay Callahan. Chances are Richards gets bought out this Summer which provides more cap space to facilitate trades and chase some good UFA talent.
    Vigneault has come in and done the best with the team he has been given as these are all players who came through from the Renney and then Torts era. The roster in general needs a bit of tweaking to get the Rangers back to being contenders. With a few young guys potentially coming up from Hartford and some new faces in the Summer there’s a good chance things will start motoring under AV next season.