Former captain of the New York Rangers, Ryan Callahan, is a free agent heading into this off season. After being traded to the Tampa Bay Lightning at the trade deadline, Callahan has found success. He scored six goals and added five assists in 20 games with the Bolts, but he added the grit and toughness they needed. However, as much as the Lightning would love to have him back, Cally may want too much money for them. If true, the Devils should jump on him.
Callahan is your prototypical New Jersey Devil. He is a hard-nosed tough physical fore-checking penalty-killing two-way player that the Devils love.
Callahan, 29, also has goalscoring ability that should not be overlooked. The three-time 20 goal scorer had a down year in 2013-14 with only 17 goals, but he missed 17 games due to injury. Over his career, Callahan has produced .56 points/game, which is solid production. His best year was 2011-12, in which he scored 29 goals and 54 points.
The Devils could find use for him on special teams as he was the top penalty killer for the Rangers. He is also good on the power play, scoring seven goals during the man advantage this season which would be tied for second on the Devils this year.
But the most important aspects of Callahan are his work ethic and leadership. Every game, every shift Callahan is hustling and leaving everything out on the ice, which is key for Pete DeBoer’s style. His leadership qualities would help out the Devils locker room and he could easily relieve Bryce Salvador of that duty in the future.
It should also be mentioned that Callahan’s family currently resides in the New York Metro area, so he would not have to relocate them for the future.
Callahan and the Devils would be a great fit, but it comes down to where he wants to go and if he and general manger Lou Lamoriello could meet on a deal. Callahan was looking for a $6+ million extension with the Rangers before he was traded and he will be attempting to get that on the free agent market. At his desired price the Devils would not make a bid, but if he were willing to drop down to around $5-5.5 million range expect Lou to make an attempt at signing him.