No progress on contract talks between Rangers and Callahan
As the NHL's Olympic roster freeze deadline of Friday at 3 p.m. inched closer, contract discussions continued Thursday between the Rangers and Steve Bartlett, the representative for Ryan Callahan, who is a pending free agent. But there were no indications of any progress on either a deal or a trade.
Callahan, who will be 29 in March, is reportedly seeking a seven-year deal worth more than $6 million per season. Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather is believed to have offered a five-year deal at about $30 million.
If Callahan, who scored a pair of first-period goals in the 5-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday and was inserted on the power play during yesterday morning's skate, is not dealt before 3 p.m., the next decision for both sides will come after the Olympics when the roster freeze lifts. The NHL's trade deadline is March 5.
Callahan, who leaves for Sochi with Team USA on Sunday, entered the game against the Oilers with 11 goals, including four on the power play, and 13 assists in 40 games. He missed nine games, beginning Dec. 12, with a sprained MCL and had offseason shoulder surgery.
It is Callahan's willingness to take the body and block shots, with little regard for his health -- as well as the price being asked -- that make a long-term deal a risk, although if he hits the market this summer, several teams, including the Buffalo Sabres, are expected to make offers.
In eight seasons with the Rangers, who drafted him in the fourth round in 2004, the right wing from Rochester, N.Y. who has worn the 'C' for three years, had played in 445 games, with 132 goals and 253 points.
Henrik to start vs. Pens
Henrik Lundqvist (21-18-3, 2.43 GAA, .918 save percentage) will start Friday night in Pittsburgh, the final game before the Olympic break. When they return, the Rangers will have 23 games remaining, beginning Feb. 27, when they host the Blackhawks. Fourteen games are against Eastern teams, including two each against Carolina, Philadelphia and Ottawa. Nine are against Western foes.