New York Rangers Analysis: Would Callahan Lose The "C" If He Goes To Arbitration?

By now you have probably seen the Larry Brooks article that talks about the possibility that Ryan Callahan would lose his "unofficial-official" captaincy status if the two sides go to arbitration. Callahan, who is slated to have his arbitration hearing July 28th, and the New York Rangers have yet to agree to a deal.

From the article:

Callahan, who recorded 48 points (23-25) in 60 games while establishing career highs in goals, assists and points, will likely come in somewhere between $4.5M and $4.75M on a multi-year deal, though he all but certainly would command more on the open market next July.

If the parties cannot agree on a long-term deal and Callahan goes through with the hearing for what would automatically be a one-year contract given his status as an impending free agent, he would likely get somewhere around $4.2 million.

Moreover, a one-year contract would likely eliminate Callahan from consideration to succeed Chris Drury as captain. If Callahan's Broadway future is uncertain, Brad Richards would almost certainly get the "C."

That's a lot of information to take in. It's especially unsettling when you realize the undertones of the article speaks to the fact that the Rangers and Callahan are still not close on a deal.

Join me after the jump for more.

If the report by Brooks is true, then the sides are in the same position they were in when Brandon Dubinsky was on the block. Let me remind you all that the Dubinsky negotiation seemed assured to reach arbitration, but the two sides made an 11th-hour deal to avoid the hearing. There's no reason to assume the same won't happen with Callahan.

I think everyone believed that the Callahan negotiations would be smoother, but obviously that hasn't been the case. And, in the end, George brought up a good point in one of yesterday's threads: You can make as good of an argument that Callahan deserves more money than Dubinsky as you can that he deserves less.

The idea that he might lose his captaincy, however, is scary. If the Rangers do  end up going to arbitration with Callahan it honestly wouldn't make any sense to give him the role of captain. No coach wants to have a captain serve only a one-year term, with the potential to lose him to restricted free agency the next season.

But, you don't want to just give the captaincy to Brad Richards despite the fact that he has the leadership qualities necessary. Callahan is home-grown, does everything you can expect from a captain and already knows this team inside and out. It would not be good to see Callahan not wearing the "C" next season, and it might cause even more bad blood between the two sides (not even including the emotions arbitration would bring around).

Glen Sather still needs to get a deal that works for the Rangers though, which only makes the process even harder. Thoughts on all this guys?