The New York Rangers are looking at options to trade their captain, Ryan Callahan, and were hoping to replace him with another captain.
New York GM Glen Sather proposed a one-for-one swap to the Tampa Bay Lightning that would have brought captain Martin St. Louis to the Rangers, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post on Sunday night. Citing sources, Brooks writes that Sather initially engaged in talks with Tampa manager Steve Yzerman after St. Louis was left off Canada's initial Olympic roster on Jan. 7.
Yzerman played a role in St. Louis being left off the rosted as GM of the Olympic team. Many questioned whether this would strain the relationship between the two and Sather was apparently interested in seeing if that was the case, via the New York Post:
Blueshirts' general manager Glen Sather has inquired about a potential swap of team captains in which pending free agent Ryan Callahan would go to the Lightning in exchange for St. Louis, but Yzerman's absolute lack of interest in dealing his leading scorer in exchange for a rental property has been made clear to the Rangers.
Brooks goes onto write that St. Louis met with Yzerman and team owner, Jeff Vinik, separately in the weeks after the Olympic roster announcement. It's unclear what the extent of these meetings were, as Brooks doesn't expressly state whether St. Louis requested a trade:
St. Louis, who carries a cap hit of $5.625 million, is believed to have met separately and a few weeks apart with club owner Jeff Vinik and Yzerman in the wake of being bypassed by his own GM for Team Canada.
Damian Cristodero of the Tampa Bay Times believes the meetings were positive ones to help defuse any tension, via the Tampa Bay Times:
Look, the relationship between St. Louis-Yzerman took a hit. But the two have spoken several times, and St. Louis' acknowledgment at the Olympics that Yzerman had a tough job to do perhaps indicates a thaw. Owner Jeff Vinik also has met with St. Louis.
What is clear:
- Sather approached Yzerman
- Yzerman had no interest in a one-for-one swap for a player on an expiring contract
- Sather had no interest in sweetening the deal with prospects or picks, at least ones Yzerman might be interested in
- St. Louis has a no-trade clause
And if Yzerman and St. Louis' relationship took a hit, it was mended with Olympic Gold after St. Louis was added to the roster as an injury replacement for teammate Steven Stamkos.
NHL Trade Rumors
NHL Trade Rumors
From the Tampa Bay perspective, this trade doesn't make much sense, at least, not in a one-for-one swap. If Sather is willing to put together a compelling package, maybe Yzerman considers the deal. But even in that instance it would be an aggressive move that might cause more problems than solutions.
The real story here is that Ryan Callahan's time with the New York Rangers is seemingly coming to an end.
The two sides have not been able to find common ground in negotiations, as Callahan is reportedly remaining firm on a seven-year contract with an annual average salary of $6.75 million while the Rangers are looking for a six-year deal with an annual salary of $6 million.
Sather either wants Callahan extended or traded before March 5, which makes it increasingly difficult to see Callahan wearing Broadway Blue beyond next Wednesday.