Ryan Callahan: The unexpected beneficiary of the NHL lockout

October 5, 2012, by

A lockout gives Ryan Callahan additional time to rest his bruised and battered body.

Sometimes a hockey player’s effectiveness (and career) comes to a halt because their bodies simply cannot take any more. One excellent example of a player whose body let him down is Adam Deadmarsh, formerly of the Colorado Avalanche. Unlike Eric Lindros – perhaps the most skilled player to be let down by his body – Deadmarsh, while talented, was known more for his work rate, physicality, and leadership. There are obvious similarities between Deadmarsh and Ryan Callahan.

Deadmarsh, like Callahan (a regular 20-30 goal forward in the NHL), eventually had to retire because of health problems.  Enter the lockout. Ryan Callahan is a player that leads by example, that always finishes his checks, plays fearlessly and who is the hardest of hard-working players. He is exactly the type of player who stands to benefit from the unfortunate situation that is the NHL lockout.

Thanks in part to his style of play Callahan has missed several games for the Rangers and with no change of style likely it’s fair to worry that his physical nature will lead him to miss several more. Since becoming a full-time Ranger, Cally has only played more than 80 games once and has missed an entire post season because of injury. Callahan’s absence during those playoffs was profound.

Whereas players such as Carl Hagelin, Chris Kreider, and the younger players benefit from the extra hockey during a lockout (development, additional ice time, etc), a player such as the Rangers captain may benefit enormously from time off ice. Less physical abuse to his body and a period of regeneration will lead to a fresher, healthier Callahan. With a fully charged Callahan skating hard in to the corners at the opposition the Rangers would no doubt be a harder team to play against.

Everyone with a vested interest in the Rangers – whether in the media or a fan – has discussed how a well rested Henrik Lundqvist is critical to the Rangers, probably the epicentre of any team success. A well rested, ready to go Ryan Callahan – post lockout – is likely not far behind in importance.

Categories : Forwards


  1. Matt Josephs says:

    Problem with Callahan isn’t that he’s such a hard worker as he’s proved he can go hard every night and still have something left in the tank for the next game.

    The real issue with Callahan is that he’ll eventually get injured over the course of the season. Over an 82 game season plus playoffs it’s inevitable. Having extra time off won’t help him in that regard.

    The Rangers for the first time in a while had a short offseason. We’ve seen in the past how some teams who make it deep in the playoffs struggle a bit to start off the season. With the added time off they should all be ready to go.

    • wwpd says:

      captain works as hard as he is capable, at all times. if he is better rested he will just plays even harder and wear down that much faster. it can’t be helped, it’s like a law a physics. ryan callahan will stay in motion until opposed by an immovable object then he will hit that object.

  2. Walt says:

    The biggest problem, and reason we all love Callie, is that he plays much bigger than his physical size!

    He leads by example, but at the risk of getting hurt. Does that bother him, not in the slightest. That is what makes him effective, and successful.

    Getting hurt is a possibility by playing his style, but then again, that’s what makes him the player he is. The time off would be fine if Callie needed it to heal, but to say it may prolong his career, that is a bit much.

    Now let’s look at Lindros. When he came into the NHL, the man was the biggest man in town. Today, he would be an above average sized player, look at how many young kids on the Whale taht are over 6’3″. Eric skated with his head down, got conncussed too many times, but wasn’t smart enough to change his style, shortening his career. The man was a fool, repeating the same mistake over, and over again. His kid brother was concussed real bad, and called it a day, maybe Eric should have taken a hint from his brother.