New York Rangers Analysis: More On The Ryan Callahan Contract

As reported on Blueshirt Banter earlier, the New York Rangers have agreed to a three-year deal with restricted free agent Ryan Callahan. The contract is worth a reported $12.875 million for a $4.26 million cap hit.

The deal allowed the two sides to avoid arbitration, something that could have had pretty serious consequences.

Many of you have been wondering why the Rangers didn't offer a longer deal. Callahan told Andrew Gross the two sides talked about a longer deal, but decided to go for less years.

"We were both working out three, four and five year deals and I think we agreed the numbers worked for a three-year deal," Callahan told The Record. "We couldn't come to a conclusion on a longer deal.

This actually makes a lot of sense for the Rangers, even though at first glance it seems strange that Glen Sather wouldn't have been willing to give the potential captain of the team more than three years. The long and short of the situation however, is that more years would have meant more money and a bigger cap hit.

Let me explain after the jump.

Currently, Callahan's three-year deal covers one restricted free agency season, and two unrestricted free agency seasons. We discussed earlier how the open market would significantly inflate Callahan's worth, thus increasing the amount of a new contract. Callahan and his agent know this.

So while a $4.26 million deal is reasonable for two unrestricted free agency seasons, that number would have to be much higher if the Rangers wanted to buy out a third or fourth UFA year. Especially since in four years Callahan will be 30-years-old, something which could potentially decrease offers.

So the price Callahan's camp set for a four or five year deal was probably very high. And since Sather didn't have enough time to negotiate those terms, he put his name on a three-year deal. A deal which is fair for both sides in my opinion.

Callahan also talked about how excited he was to be back in Rangers' blue for the next three years.

"(But) I'm thrilled to be back for three years," Callahan added. "I love playing for the Rangers. I'm excited to be back and to have this behind me and concentrate on the season. I was hoping it would get done but you never really know how it's going to go in these negotiations. I definitely didn't want to go to arbitration and only go on a one-year deal. I'm really happy it didn't have to come to that."

It's good to see the Rangers complete every step of their off-season plan. Sather has done a fantastic job this off season of building a competitive team next year, and locking up the key RFA's the team had to deal with. Especially since there were so many rumors to why the Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky deals wouldn't happen.

In the end, the Rangers now have their core together for another two years (if you count Mike Sauer, Artem Anisimov and Derek Stepan part of the core), and have their main guys locked up for three or more years.

More analysis on the deal later. For now? Thoughts on all this?