The rumors surrounding right-winger Ryan Callahan are running wild. Permission has been granted for his agent, Steve Bartlett, to speak with other teams. Callahan was drafted 127th overall by the Rangers in 2004 but is only in his seventh full NHL season. In six seasons, Callahan played in 405 NHL games with the Rangers, Callahan has posted 121 goals and 108 assists for 229 points and 252 penalties in minutes. Callahan is a career .5 point per game but has never played a full season, he was close in the 2008-09 season having missed only one game. At this point in his career, the Captain is a 28-year-old with a high injury risk and a potentially large contract. Callahan is at the end of a three-year 12.825mil contract looking for a raise and more years than are comfortable to give. Coming back from shoulder surgery then missing double-digit number of games with a broken hand and a knee injury, Callahan is becoming quite questionable. Emotionally, Callahan is the guy in the room. He has been said to be the real leader off the ice. The question is this: How badly does the New York native want to end his career where it started? The Rangers are looking for a cup and it’s clear that changes must be made.
Today reports rolled out that left-winger Thomas Vanek turned down an offer from the New York Islanders which was similar to his current seven-year 50mil contract. He also said that he hasn’t ruled the Islanders out of his Ironically, Vanek is also represented by Steve Bartlett. The Austrian born Vanek was drafted 5th overall by the Buffalo Sabres, who traded him away earlier this season for Matt Moulson. Vanek is in his ninth NHL season and has only missed 34 games in his first eight years, that’s fewer than Callahan in only six years. In his first eight years, Vanek played in 585 games. He posted 250 goal and 238 assists for 488 points. That’s .8 points per game. Vanek was named co-captain of the Sabres in 2013; a title he shared with Steve Ott. Turning down a contract of this magnitude at the age of 30 could be a sign that Vanek is looking for something that isn’t related to money, something that he might drink out of on the golf course during the summer.
So the proposition seems easy enough. The Rangers offer Ryan Callahan and defenseman Justin Falk, who’s low cap hit makes up the difference between Callahan and Vanek’s contracts, to the Islanders in exchange for Vanek. All players involved are at the end of their respective contracts so if nothing works out it’s all cleared out on the open market when the season ends.