New York Rangers rumors: The definitive Ryan Callahan update

While the Rangers defeated the Islanders for the second consecutive game Friday night, Ryan Callahan's trade rumors blew up.

About a day ago, there was speculation the Rangers were at least testing the waters to see what Ryan Callahan might fetch them in a trade. With Callahan's camp and the Rangers' brass still reportedly far apart in contract negotiations, the team is doing its due diligence when it comes to the impending free agent.

But you can officially up the threat level when it comes to Callahan's New York future.

On Friday night, a number of new wrinkles came out that point to the Rangers exploring more than hypothetical scenarios. Here are the two major ones:

Things certainly intensified very quickly.

With the Olympic roster freeze, the time to actually trade players is only a little over two weeks. Teams can obviously still negotiate during the freeze, but per Larry Brooks, the team doesn't even want to let this play out that long.

This, from Brooks' column:

Sources have told The Post general manager Glen Sather has established Friday’s 3 p.m. pre-Olympic roster freeze, rather than the March 5 trade deadline, as the time of decision regarding Callahan’s future. The Rangers want the situation resolved before the captain travels to Sochi, Russia, to play for Team USA and risks injury in The Games.

Callahan has been steadfast in his desire to re-sign with the Rangers. There have been multiple reports as to what the snag in the negotiations have been, but at this point, it seems like term length is the biggest hold-up. Callahan had this to say about the situation last night when asked about his agent being given permission to negotiate with other teams:

"I didn't hear about it," he said. "My heart's here. I want to be here. That's all I worry about on the ice."