Let's start this with a cliché, shall we? If I had to pick three words to describe Ryan Callahan, they would be the following; Pride, Passion, and Olympian. Cally had more than statistical expectations this season as he was named an Assistant captain to Chris Drury to start the season. Along with this, he was expected to build upon his breakout season in 2008-09 where he scored 22 goals for a total of 40 points - something that is always difficult to do. Always solid on the penalty kill, Ryan also was second only to Marion Gaborik with 9 Power-Play goals this past season.
Callahan is heading into the prime of his career and he should be fun to watch. All fingers crossed, let's hope he can hit his theoretical statistical ceiling (just above 50 points) and help turn the Rangers around in 2010-2011.
Join me after the jump for specifics.
#24 / Right Wing / New York Rangers
Mar 21, 1985
|2009 - Ryan Callahan||77||19||18||37||-12||48||9||0||3||0||204||9.3|
What we liked: I would ask any Ranger fan the following: what's not to like about Callahan? He works hard every night (and get's rewarded for it), never takes a shift off, and puts the puck in the net pretty often. He plays solid second-line minutes against good competition and most of the time (according to the stats) the puck is in the other teams zone.
Throw in the fact that he's come up through the system and doesn't make excuses for poor play and he sounds like a great Ranger to me. There's really not much else to say, as this fourth round draft pick has done everything asked of him the past couple of seasons.
What we didn't like: If I had to nitpick, it would just be his relative +/- rating to the team (only Drury and Boyle were worse). He had the lowest +/- of all forwards over the season at -12. Obviously, this has a lot more with the unit that is playing (Redden and/or Rozival doesn't help), but it still counts a little. Also his contract is up after next season, so that's always fun as we found out with Dubinsky.
Highlight Play/Game: Arguably his best game of the year was the 6-2 win in late January over the Habs where Callahan put up 2 goals and 4 points. Highlight of the year? Check it out:
Final Thoughts: Ryan Callahan is developing perfectly fine and should have one of his best years either next season or the year after. He does a lot of right things on the ice and I would personally rather have few guys on the right or left wing of the second lane for the Rangers. The Olympian part of Ryan is something he has earned, but the Pride and Passion cannot be taught in a rink or anywhere else.
Praise or try to Hate on Cally in the comments (the second isn't easy). Also discuss his $ worth after next season. Let's hear it.