Ryan Callahan is a 28, nearly 29, year old right-winger for the New York Rangers. He is the captain of the team and often called the “heart and soul leader” of the team. The Rangers’ fan base knows the dedication Callahan has put into the team. He’s a “homegrown” player and leader in many ways. To his teammates, he’s the guy they look to when they need a “pick me up” and when things get tough. Callahan was drafted 127th overall by the Rangers in 2004 after his first two years with the (OHL) Ontario Hockey league’s Guelph Storm. The closest thing to a full NHL season Callahan posted was one game shy of the full schedule in 2008-2009. Even during the lockout shortened season last year, Callahan missed three games. This year alone Callahan started the year late after off-season shoulder surgery, then broke his thumb blocking a shot, followed quickly by a knee injury. This year is his the seventh NHL season, and the third season as captain of the Rangers. In 447 career regular season NHL games Callahan has registered 132 goals and 212 assists for 253 total points; slightly above the half of a point per game mark. He averages around 30 points per season, which he has posted five times. His highest season points total was in 2011-12 when he posted 54, that was a notably exceptional year for most of the roster. Since the 2008-09 season, Callahan was awarded the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award four times. Known as much for his play away from the puck, Callahan finishes his checks and does not hesitate to block the puck with his body. There is no doubt the leader of the Rangers’ team has done nothing less than give his all every time he steps foot on the ice or in the dressing room. Contract talks have reportedly gone stale. If the rumors are true, Callahan, and his agent, are seeking a seven-year deal which will pay him just under seven million dollars per year. General Manager, Glen Sather, granted permission to teams wishing to speak with Callahan before the Olympic break; no reports of interested teams were published.
Martin St. Louis is a 38-year-old right-winger and captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning. At 5’8″, St.Louis is undoubtedly a
shorter player than the majority of players, though slightly taller than current Rangers winger 5’7″ Mats Zuccarello. St. Louis was recruited by, and played four years of collegiate hockey for The University of Vermont Catamounts where he was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award twice in four years. During the summer of 1996 St. Louis was offered NHL contracts with signing bonuses in the $150,000.00 range, which he turned down in favor of his final year of collegiate eligibility. St. Louis gradutaed as the school’s leading scorer with 276 points. After college St. Louis was forced to play in the International Hockey League, the NHL didn’t look his way again until he posted 50 points in 56 games. The Calgary Flames signed and assigned St. Louis to their AHL affiliate in February 1998. The 1998-99 season began with St. Louis on the third line in the least offensive roll of his career. Office changes pushed St. Louis to be put on the auction block for the 2000 NHL expansion draft. When he was not chosen, his contract was bought out.
St. Louis chose the Tampa Bay Lightning from the teams who expressed interest in signing him. This year marks the 13th season for St. Louis as a “Bolt” and his first year as captain, after Vincent Lecavalier left for the Philadelphia Flyers. Primarily an offensive player, St. Louis has appeared in 1038 career NHL games. In that time he he’s posted 367 goals and 603 assists; that’s just slightly under a point per game career average. He isn’t the same kind of player off the puck as Callahan, but both are leaders and both are solid players.