ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun wrote a very nice piece on Ryan Callahan, even pointing out himself that its just a matter of time until the 24-year-old winger erupts on the national scene. The playoffs are an excellent time to do it. While many of the local writers and broadcasters have continuously praised Callahan’s play, this may be the first column written solely about Cally on a national level. The truth of it all is that Callahan still hasn’t been able to put together a full season, meaning that he has usually been a strong second half player. It would be interesting to see what Cally will be able to do under Tortorella for a full 82 games. I love the last bit when LeBrun mentions that Callahan has had the ability to score on every level. I think that is so important when evaluating a player; the ability to recognize that the player is a goal-scorer, and someday will put it together and be successful in the NHL. Ultimately, I have been caught with my foot in my mouf. When I was evaluating the Rangers situation under Renney a few months back I mentioned that a group of young Rangers, including Callahan, were expendable. He obviously isn’t. Here are some highlights from the article, if you don’t have the time to read it yourself.
“He’s a guy that does everything,” Rangers coach John Tortorella said. “He’s in every situation. He’s earned the responsibility and the chance to be in those situations because he’s succeeded. Players sometimes need to believe they can score regularly; I think he’s beginning to realize that and believe in himself.”
“Ryan had a big breakout season for the Rangers,” Brian Burke, the GM of the U.S. Olympic team, told ESPN.com on Friday. “He has put himself into contention for Team USA in Vancouver.”
The kid could always score. He tallied 52 goals in 62 games in his final junior season with the Ontario Hockey League’s Guelph Storm in 2005-06. But like many young players, he needed to find his confidence with the puck once he got to the NHL. He had eight goals in 52 games last season but took huge strides in 2008-09