In case you missed it, Boomer Esiason sent Twitter into a craze over the weekend when he posted a series of tweets alluding that Ryan Callahan will be traded before the deadline. What started as a more casual conversation with ambiguous thoughts and ‘gut feelings’ turned in to something much more.
By the time he was done responding to fans he had crossed out potential trade partners as well as specific trade candidates. In other words, he’s claiming to know something. This whole thing was basically positioned as something where both parties already agree upon the framework of a deal. For all of his tweets, click here.
Now I know some of you may ask, how would a former NFL QB get inside scope on the Rangers? It’s a fair question and the answer doesn’t seem obvious, at least not at first.
However, this isn’t the first time Boomer has thrown his hat into the rumor mill. He’s done so before with some success. Plus he probably has some well-placed sources at MSG likely due to his connections through the various TV shows he has hosted on MSG Network, as well as the Boomer and Carton simulcast, which ran on MSG for three years.
Though I should note Boomer’s comments were contested by TSN’s Bob Mckenzie because you know, TSN ‘insiders’ have to take credit for everything.
Of course, this story shouldn’t be about the validity of Boomer’s comments. Ultimately this is about Callahan. Nevertheless, before Cally fans go into a panic or the pro-trading Cally crowd throws a parade, let’s take a step back and look at this a few different ways.
Last month when I first spoke about the possibility of the Rangers trading Callahan, I said that actual trade discussions are rarely leaked by accident, especially when it comes to the Rangers. The few that are leaked are often done so purposely. This way management can get a sense of what the asset could command on the marketplace. Perhaps this is what we’re seeing here.
Picking Boomer to deliver the message makes sense. Thanks to CBS Sports picking up the simulcast for the Boomer and Carton show, he now has a national audience. If Cally is serious about wanting to stay a Ranger, maybe this news forces his agent to pick up the phone.
Breaking bad news in small doses?
If Sather learned anything from the Brian Leetch trade blowback, it was that fans were caught off guard, which only made things worse. No one at the time thought Leetch would actually be moved. At least no one was reporting on it.
If Sather is serious about trading Callahan, it’s probably better that he keeps leaking what’s going on with the discussions so avid Cally fans won’t be too shocked. Anger but not surprised is always better than angry and shocked.
Who could be coming the other way?
Boomer wouldn’t go as far to say who the Rangers will be trading for, but if I had to put my money on it, I would bet on Martin St. Louis. Just like the source of the rumor, this trade doesn’t seem like the obvious choice. Again though, once you peel back the layers, it starts to make sense.
St. Louis, who has a NMC, has been in trade rumors ever since Yzerman arrived. He was even linked to the Rangers last year due to the whole Tortorella/Richards connection. Torts is obviously gone, but reuniting Richards with St. Louis in AV’s trap and transition system for at least this postseason probably could pay off in the short-term.
Long-term it does not make much sense to be trading for a 38 year old, but this is Sather we’re talking about and even he has admitted the Rangers are in win-now mode. I know the immediate question is, why on earth would Tampa trade one of their top players now? After all, they are in 3rd place in the Eastern Conference and St. Louis is cost controlled through next season.
Perhaps Callys agent has already spoken with Yzerman about an extension thus removing the ‘rental’ tag. Losing Marty would be a tough pill to swallow for Bolts fans. However, they could lose him a year from now for nothing anyway and perhaps Marty hasn’t given any indication that he would like to stay.
Getting Cally in return doesn’t hurt their chances at making a run either. If anything, it strengthens their team defense, which has been one of Tampa’s biggest flaws in recent seasons.
The biggest negative would be the PR blowback. However, maybe trading a captain for a captain lessens that blow. If not, look at it this way, at least Rangers and Bolts fans can be angry together!
In all serious, I don’t know for certain if this is just a negotiating tactic or if Sather is really planning to make a move. At the end of the day, we can only analyze what is put in front of us and right now it seems this organization does not value Callahan as highly as it once did.
Besides, if Sather was really interested in keeping Callahan, there would have been more actual contract discussions (i.e. counter offers) and less public flogging (i.e. leaking the process to the media) from the get go.