DELINE, NORTHWEST TERRITORIES – Trade deadline day came and went in the NHL on Wednesday. Some players we thought would move stayed put and some players we thought would stay put, were shipped to far-away locales. It was an interesting and somewhat surprising day.
The big news at The Garden was the trade that sent Rangers captain Ryan Callahan to the Tampa Bay Lightning in return for a 38-year-old French points machine by the name of Martin St. Louis. Callahan is an unrestricted free agent after this season, so chances are that the Lightning are only renting him until the end of the season. But for their trouble, Tampa also acquired two draft picks from the Rangers in the trade. A second rounder this year and next years first rounder. Coming up on the 3pm deadline on Wednesday it looked like Callahan would re-sign with the Rangers. The two sides seemed to be pretty close to a deal. But things fell apart, as they often do, and the trade was made.
Rangers get a proven goal scorer in St Louis… It’s a move that New York is looking for instant gratification with a deep playoff push this season. St. Louis is under contract through the end of next season, when he will be nigh on 40 years old. On Broadway, he’ll be paired with his old pal Brad Richards. The two won a Stanley Cup together in Tampa a decade ago. The hope is that their magic repeats itself here…
I was thinking that the Rangers should try to coax Petr Nedved out of his plush Eastern European third class hockey gig to come play with Richards and St Louis on the oldest line in hockey. Another route the Rangers could go is play a line of St Louis, Mats Zuccarello and Derek Dorsett, which would surely be the shortest line in the NHL. We could call them the Three Mousketeers.
I’m still not sure how I feel about the trade. I like Callahan and I didn’t want to see him go, but I wasn’t in love with the prospect of taking a $6M+ cap hit for the next six or seven years for a grinder that is already showing signs of wear and tear. Callahan’s style of play isn’t conducive to longevity and I don’t think there will be many teams willing to give him the years and money that he wants… or even that the Rangers had on the table. St Louis is a proven goalscorer and has always been a Rangers killer. The Blueshirts went with the old Yankees method of acquiring players that play well against you. Hopefully, it pays off and St Louis and Richards can rekindle that old magic.
With the draft picks the Rangers threw into the trade, the Lightning come out ahead on this deal. They get the $5M+ that St Louis is owed next season off of the books and they get to restock the system with a couple of extra early round draft picks the next couple of seasons. The Rangers won’t mind as long as they get deep into the playoffs this year and next. Things got off to an inauspicious start Wednesday night as the Rangers lost at home in overtime to the Maple Leafs with St Louis making his Garden debut. Hopefully the Blueshirts do better tonight in Carolina.
Filed in: Different Matt