Blue Notes

Steve Zipay takes you inside the locker room, home and on the road, with the New York Rangers, and also writes about the NHL, off and on the ice.

Callahan won't discuss trade scenario; Marty St. Louis in mix?

That's what the Rangers captain told reporters after practice Wednesday when asked if he was prepared for the possibility of being dealt before March 5th. But he is, of course, no agent wouldn't prepare a client who is an unrestricted free agent during an impasse in talks with a team.

As noted, there has been no progress on a long-term contract between his camp and the Rangers front office, and it certainly appears that if GM Glen Sather is satisfied with an offer in a week, he'll pull the trigger rather than let Callahan walk for no return at the end of the season.

A possibility, which has been making the rounds: Although Tampa's Martin St. Louis was upset with the Team Canada Olympic snub, and reportedly asked GM Steve Yzerman for a trade in January, there has been speculation that perhaps being selected to replace Steve Stamkos and winning a gold medal took some of the edge off.

St. Louis, who has a home in Greenwich, CT that he has often rented to Rangers players and a no-move clause that gives him leverage, could have said Wednesday that he changed his mind and wanted to finish this season and next, his final one on his pact, with the Lightning.

He didn't. What he said today was, according to reporters in Tampa, was "I've had conversations with Steve about my future with the team and I'll leave it at that."Not exactly an endorsement for staying.

And Yzerman simply declined to comment on this and any trade rumors.

TSN Bob MacKenzie, according to Twitter, said in a radio appearance that St. Louis had requested a trade and wants to go to the Rangers.

St. Louis, who is 38 but in great shape, trains each summer in Darien, Connecticut with players such as Brad Richards, Matt Moulson, Max Pacioretty, James Van Riemsdyk and Cam Atkinson at Prentiss Hockey Performance .

So the assumption is that Yzerman will attempt to make the best deal he can before the trade deadline, or in the offseason. Presumably, he will get a higher-quality deal now, with 20-plus games remaining in addition to next season.

If St. Louis will only agree to coming to New York, Yzerman would have to ask for something more than a rental, which Callahan would be, unless Tampa opens the wallet in the off-season.

St. Louis' cap hit is $5.6 million; Callahan and his camp are believed to be asking in the $6.5 million range for seven years. 

So would Sather, who has inquired about St. Louis in seasons past, sweeten the pot with a prospect or a pick to appease Yzerman?  Depending on the player and pick, I would.

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