The Tampa Bay Lightning brought Ryan Callahan in to help with a Playoff run, and they got there. However, Callahan was not enough to contend with the Montreal Canadiens. That’s not stopping some Head Coach Jon Cooper from going on record saying nothing short of I want him on my bench.
Callahan is set to become a UFA, and is expected to cash in during the off-season. While Cooper is not alone in wanting to retain Callahan; it’s completely out of the Lightning’s control. Callahan has the right, and freedom to hit the open market and sell his services and talent to the highest bidder.
During twenty regular season games with Tampa Callahan registered 11 points. The problem is he was unable to register a single point in four games during the Lightning brief appearance in the Playoffs. Despite his lack of performance during the Playoffs; GM Steve Yzerman is also on board with trying to lock up the 29 year-old Callahan.
The cap hit for Callahan this season was $4,275,000 not a bad price for today’s market, but at 29 years old, and still in the prime of his NHL career Callahan will most likely be looking to net around $7 million a year over what I expect to be a 6 year deal. For his career Callahan has 265 points in 470 games. I’m sure he will be on the top of NHL teams wish lists, but between 2007-2014 Callahan has managed to play in only 65.14 games a season. He also has 24 points in 63 career Playoff games.
I’m not saying he is over rated, but judging by numbers alone, he will be over paid. Now, I understand there is a lot more to the game than numbers, and he would bring leadership to any locker room. All I’m saying is I think he is a $6 Million player, and not any higher. If I’m the Lightning I would think long and hard about pushing his salary too high. Tampa has plenty of cap space next season. CapGeek has them at an estimated $23,456,190 opening.
It comes down to a few things. Will the addition of Callahan get you to the Stanley Cup? Also, is Callahan willing to call Tampa home for the rest of his productive years in the NHL?
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