Day three into examining the New York Rangers roster brings us to the captain, Ryan Callahan. Better known as Captain American, Captain Cally, and a few more that play on his Americanism. Celebrated for both his skills and his grandmother, Ryan Callahan is as part of New York City as the Empire State Building. Or so the New York Rangers market him as such.
I’m not Callahan’s biggest fan, but there’s no denying the hard grinding skill he possesses. If the puck is up against the boards, I want Ryan Callahan in there, digging out the puck for the New York Rangers. The tenacity that he has makes his a great asset to the team, second to none. With 29 goals, 25 assists, and averaged 21 minutes a game. Pretty solid stats with a fair amount of ice time. And where he really shines? Shots on goal. Second on the team with putting the puck near the net. Yeah, they aren’t always going in, but if there’s one thing the Rangers need to focus on less is the needless passing they do in front of the net. Callahan gets it, put the puck on the net. Creating situations for a fluke goal, a rebound, and an overall assault on the goalie changes the course of the game for the team. If each player took the initiative like Callahan does, and started shooting the puck, the game would change for the Rangers.
Captain Cally has two more seasons left on his contract (2012-2013, 2013-2014) and has a $4.275 million cap hit in those two seasons. Pause. He only accounts for $4.275 million in the cap? The way the team markets the crap out of him, I’d expect his cap hit to be closer to $6 million. Come on! This is the same team who has/had Wade Redden on the books as a $6.5 million cap hit and Michal Rozsival as a $5 million cap hit. You can not tell me those two are more deserving of that space on the pay roll than Cally is.
I fully believe that Callahan is capable of winning the Cup in a Rangers sweater, and I think the Rangers would be foolish not to re-sign him at the end of the 2014 season. He is a rallying unifier that keeps the players going when times are tough. Callahan keeps the team moving, and while I don’t like him, I can’t imagine any one else wearing the captain’s “C” on the team right now. With this influx of new players, both young and veteran status, it is even more important to keep a player who can hold everyone together, to create a locker room that is focused on winning, and to lead them to greatness. You find me a player on the team not named Callahan that is capable of doing all of this, and manages not to get in his head and meltdown from pressure. Because I certainly cannot.
Ryan Callahan is one of a kind, he’s going to be the one to pull the team out from the shadows of the Stanley Cup win of 1994 and really have the New York Rangers be recognized for the great organization they have become over the past few seasons.
It’s time for the New York Rangers to see the Stanley Cup and Ryan Callahan is just the man to do it.
Lets Go Rangers!