Like I said when the rumors started swirling, I don’t get how a Rangers fan can hate this deal. It’s more than just a straight up trade now – there will be conditional picks both ways based on how far the Blueshirts go and if Callahan signs long-term with the Bolts. Perhaps NY is giving away picks that turn into studs a few years down the road, but drafts are nowhere near a lock and we’re not talking about top-10 picks. I’m not all that concerned. As far as losing Captain Cally – of course that sucks. He’s the captain. He’s the heart and soul. He’s more than the stat sheet. And all of that is why the Rangers were willing to go to $6 mil instead of the $4.5 or so his stats would warrant. But the Blueshirts brass drew a line in the sand after offering a 6th year at $6 mil. They weren’t willing to go north and apparently Cally’s camp wanted a no-movement clause as well. For once, the Rangers were prudent. Stuck to their guns. Fans might not like that they chose to do it with a fan favorite, but it’s not like they were low-balling. And just like Sather did, Callahan had every right to stick to his guns as well. I hope for him that his summer payday was worth it.
As for the haul – everyone knows who Martin St. Louis is, right? I get he’ll be 39 this summer…and more times than not, that’s a big deal. This is one of those “not” times though. This little bastard is still playing at an elite level. Oh he lost Stamkos? No biggie – dude kept churning out a point-per-game pace playing with Tyler Johnson & Ondrej Palat. “Who?” Exactly. He’s only under contract through next year at a $5.6 mil cap hit and there’s no reason to doubt he’ll fair any worse lined up with old buddy Brad Richards and Rick Nash (on the power play). Maybe the Rangers still aren’t a Cup-ready team – but their all-world netminder just turned 32. Any hopes at a Stanley Cup any time soon fall on Hank still being in his prime, and that window is closing. So when you are offered the opportunity to add a well-respected leader who steps in as your #1 point producer in exchange for a player who’s arguably going to be overpaid and may have a short shelf life based on his style of play, it makes sense. If it doesn’t pan out, it’s not like St. Louis holds the Rangers hostage for years like a 6-year Callahan contract potentially would. Bottom line is, this is absolutely the best the Blueshirts could’ve hoped for if they couldn’t keep Cally at their price.