On the NHL Tonight broadcast tonight TSN's Bob McKenzie talked pending Rangers UFAs in his "NHL Insider segment". There has been a great deal of speculation about the futures of Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi and how contract talks have been going with them.
McKenzie on Callahan:
"...Right now the Callahan negotiations, team captain, [are] not going all that well. To the point that the New York Rangers have been canvassing other National Hockey League teams to gauge interest on what Callahan might fetch at the trade deadline. ‘Plan B', if you will, if the Rangers don't get him signed. Callahan is looking for a long-term deal, his buddy Dustin Brown got an eight-year deal, captain of the L.A. Kings. Captain of the New York Rangers, by all accounts wants at least a seven year deal for more than $6 million a year. I think the Rangers can handle the money. Not sure about the terms."
McKenzie on Girardi (just the key points):
- Contract talks progressing better with Girardi than with Callahan.
- Girardi looking for a seven year deal like Bouwmeester, up over $5 million a year.
- Rangers want a shorter-term deal.
A few things to keep in mind when digesting McKenzie's input;
- The salary cap will increase next season.
- The Rangers will likely buy out Brad Richards and free up the cap space his contract is eating up.
- Nothing is concrete and there is a lot of time to get both players under contract.
- McKenzie's estimated numbers may or may not be accurate. Take them with a grain of salt and understand that players want to get paid and are not in the practice of low-balling themselves at the negotiation table.
- Trade Deadline is March 5th, 3 PM EST.
- Olympic roster freeze is effective on February 7th and lifts on the 23rd.
- Dusin Brown's Contract. | Jay Bouwmeester's Contract.
McKenzie further speculated that whoever wasn't signed would likely be dealt so that the Rangers wouldn't be left empty-handed when (and if) the player(s) walked in the offseason because the Rangers recognize that while they may be a playoff team they are likely not a legitimate Cup contender and would be wise to get whatever they can for Callahan and/or Girardi.
Obviously this is pretty sensational news and will almost certainly have most Rangers fans frothing and foaming at the mouth and running the streets like rage virus zombies but let's try and take it all with a grain of salt. It's hard to justify Callahan getting the kind of money and contract McKenzie is talking about given his struggle to stay healthy but you have to imagine that the captain of the team is going to get paid. Girardi, who's turning 30 this April, has shown some warts this season but is still a very valuable player to the Rangers. There has been some talk that the recent acquisition of the right-handed Kevin Klein has made Girardi more expendable than he was a few months ago but it is still difficult to imagine the Rangers dealing away the home-grown shutdown blueliner.
So what do you guys think of all of this? What should Girardi and Callahan get in terms of years and money if they re-sign with the Rangers? If the Rangers can't re-sign one (or both) of them, what would they demand on deadline day? How would you feel if the Rangers dealt one or both of these homegrown players? If you had to keep just one... who would you keep?
Have at in the comments section guys and girls. I just thought I'd give you something to talk about before we all enjoy the second game of the Stadium Series.
Let's go Rangers.
- McKenzie Talks Girardi's and Callahan's Futures in NY
- More on the Stadium Series; Callahan and Zuccarello negotiating; Wednesday's forecast
- Stadium Series recap: A firsthand account of the elements, the pageantry, and the experience
- Rangers down Devils outdoors; Lundqvist's turnaround; Brad Richards' future
- Stadium Series recap: Rangers score 6 straight and rout the Devils in Yankee Stadium