According to Larry Brooks at the New York Post, if the Rangers and Ryan Callahan cannot come to an agreement before Thursday’s arbitration hearing, it is unlikely Callahan will be the Rangers’ next captain.
If the parties cannot agree on a long-term deal and Callahan goes through with the hearing for what would automatically be a one-year contract given his status as an impending free agent, he would likely get somewhere around $4.2 million.
Moreover, a one-year contract would likely eliminate Callahan from consideration to succeed Chris Drury as captain. If Callahan’s Broadway future is uncertain, Brad Richards would almost certainly get the “C.”
I believe this is a bit of a stretch from Brooks. It’s understandable the Rangers would be hesitant to put the “C” on a player who could potentially walk the following season, but there is little to believe an agreement won’t be made with Callahan between now and next summer, even if both sides settle for a one-year deal following Callahan’s arbitration hearing Thursday.
Callahan has been the air apparent to take over the captaincy for the past several seasons, spending the previous two campaigns with the “A” on his sweater.
I also don’t agree with Brooks that Brad Richards should be given the “C” in his first season with the team. I’m not completely against it, but I do think there are more deserving players on the team, even if Callahan is not given the honor. Marc Staal and Brandon Dubinsky would be the obvious front-runners, but Richards’ relationship and experience with head coach John Tortorella obviously make a case for him. That’s not a knock on Richards, I’ve just never been a fan of giving a new-comer the microphone right away.
Callahan is coming off a career year, scoring 23 goals and 48 points in just 60 games. If healthy, it’s a fair prediction he would have broken 30 goals and 60 points.
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