News started to leak out around midnight on Wednesday morning that Ryan Callahan and the Tampa Bay Lightning had come to a contract agreement. The ex-Rangers captain will now remain with the Lightning long-term, signing a 6 year, just short of $35 million dollar contract. The cap breakdown comes out to a $5.8 million dollar hit each season for Stevie Y and the Lightning. The salary breakdown for Callahan’s contract is $6 million, $6.4 million, $6.5 million, $6.5 million, $4.7 million, and $4.7 million. He will also have a partial no-trade clause, something the Rangers were un-willing to offer Callahan during negotiations prior to the trade.
Callahan said in a Tampa Bay press release, “I couldn’t be happier to be part of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization for the next six years and I am excited for this new chapter of my career. Tampa Bay has been a great place to live and play from the day I got there. As soon as the season ended I knew it was a place I wanted to be.”
As part of the signing, the Rangers will get Tampa Bay’s 2015 2nd round pick, a deal that was worked out as part of the trade months ago. In 20 regular season games with Tampa Bay this season, Callahan had 6 goals 5 assists totaling 11 points with 8 PIM before a tough 1st round in the playoffs where they were swept by the Montreal Canadiens.
It is a very solid deal for Callahan and I realize Florida does not have individual state income tax which will help save a big chunk of that money. On the other hand, he ended up giving up his life and captaincy in New York, a place that loved him with open arms, for what ended up being less money on actual paper. In either case, Callahan is now a long-term plan for the Tampa Bay Lightning and the Rangers will move forward with Marty St. Louis for the next 2 seasons until his contract expires.
Good luck to Callahan in Tampa Bay. He will return to Madison Square Garden Monday, November 17th and it will be very interesting to see how the fans react.