Rangers acquire Martin St. Louis from Tampa for Ryan Callahan

March 5, 2014, by

After months of negotiations, the Rangers could not strike a deal with their captain Ryan Callahan. Today, hours before the trade deadline, they sent their captain to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for Martin St. Louis. The Rangers will also send a 1st round pick in 2015 and a 2nd round pick in 2014 (becomes a 1st if the Rangers make it to the conference finals) to Tampa. Confirmation came from Renaud Lavoie, and terms from Bob McKenzie.

If Cally re-signs in Tampa Bay, the Rangers will get Tampa’s 2nd rounder in 2015 and Tampa will get the Rangers 7th rounder in 2015.

Categories : Trades


  1. Furls says:

    I don’t like giving up the first rounder, but at least our second line will be formidable.

    • Dave says:

      If you figure the Rangers are drafting in the bottom third, it’s easier to deal with.

  2. Todd says:

    We gave too much for an older guy!

    • VinceR says:

      Who may still retire after Cally…I mean don’t get me wrong, I love 24, but he doesn’t have a lot left in him with his style of play. It would not be shocking if St. Louis played another 4 or so at a high level.

    • VinceR says:

      From : “Callahan has missed 17 games this season because of injury, and played in 60 games in 2010-11. St. Louis has missed a total of seven games since the start of the 2002-03 season.”

    • Dave says:

      An older guy who lights the lamp with the best of them in the league.

  3. Bobby G says:

    I get it, but I miss him already =(

  4. Leatherneckinlv says:

    I do not like this trade…not because of
    St Louis…but giving up what we already lacked…which is physical prescience. We just got smaller because of this trade Hagelin now has to be traded for bigger forward with a right handed shot,,,,which is another problem…St Louis is a lefty…and Cally being a Righty…this trade creates other problems on this team

    • Chris A says:

      It would be silly to trade Hagelin. The guy owns the ice when he’s on it. He offers so much more than some slow footed big winger.

      Accept it, the Rangers are going small, quick and deep, like most of the quality teams in the league now.

      • Leatherneckinlv says:

        Hagelin is now a luxury…not a need. He can bring a good player of need back. I like Hagelin too, but you have to give up something to get something.

        We just possibly gave up 2 1st rounders….too steep for a 38 year old

        • Chris A says:

          Hagelin is not a luxury, he is a key component to the team’s success.

          You cannot underestimate the importance of Hagelin’s puck possession game. I understand give-to-get but now is not the time to think in those terms. This team is built to win now. Come the summer there will be interesting decisions to make (Brassard, Richards, Kreider’s and Miller’s place in the future of the org) and that could be the time to start restocking draft picks.

          • Mark says:

            I agree with this assessment. Speed can kill. However, the team could still have added a little toughness to help the Hagelins of the world. MCD gets his head smacked 3x over the weekend with no one to help..Try doing that to Pittsburgh’s best player to Karlsson in Ottawa. In the near term this is all an upgrade but the Rangers are still are a very smallish team and the playoffs will depend on the matchups.

  5. Sally says:

    I’m so sad.

  6. Chris A says:

    Nothing like dodging a $6.5M bullet.

    Can’t wait to see some idiot team give Callahan “Clarkson” money this summer.

    That being said, good luck to the former captain. A hard working, gutsy demon. He will be missed but his time has come and gone. Amazing that the “Pack Line” is all gone now. Never thought it would have happened so soon.

    MSL should be a prefect addition to the lineup though, the great PP just got even better. Nash will get better by virtue of playing with MSL or MSL playing on the second line and causing matchup issues for the opposition.

    What this deal means is that against Boston and Pittsburgh Nash or MSL will likely be facing some poor Dmen. Great deal for the Rangers. Losing the 1st is a tough pill to swallow but I think the Rangers have enough system depth to absorb the loss of what should be a pick in the 25-30 range in 2015.

    • paulronty says:

      Wehad no first or second last year but have you seen how the 3 we got in the third round are doing? When you have guys like Clarke & Gorton you don’t have to worry about giving up draft picks. Weren’t Hagelin & Fast 6th rounders?

  7. Dave says:

    This trade breaks my heart. Thank you for everything Cally, you were a true pleasure to watch, and a gentleman off the ice.

    That said, MSL is the better player. He addresses top six scoring, 2nd line, PP1, and even strength scoring.

  8. Chuck A says:

    Sometimes the hardest decisions to make are the right ones. 6 x 6.5? See: Brad Richards.

  9. Rangers Fan in Boston says:

    Wow. The writing was on the wall, but it’s still a shocker. Don’t like the fact a 1st was involved, this team really is in win now territory.

    My money’s on Marc Staal as the next captain.

    • Chris A says:

      Staal is a a great choice. I think they go with Girardi though since he has the contract and is going to be here for six more years.

      I guess Nash and Richards are dark horse candidates as well. McDonagh would also be an excellent choice but I wouldn’t mess with the kid and lump the pressure of being the captain on him along with the pressure of being the best player on the team.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Wow, just saw that this deal could be for two first rounders if the Rangers make the conference finals. Craziness.

      • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

        But if Callahan re-signs with TB, the Rangers get TB’s 2nd in 2015.

  10. Hatrick Swayze says:

    My head exploded a little bit. Instead of spilling a bunch of random thoughts, let me say this:

    We best be making a move before next years draft to acquire a 2015 1st round pick. We’ve got a year to figure it out, but a top 20 overall in that draft is what I hope will be considered “necessary”.

  11. Chris F says:

    Absolutely disgraceful….

    Callahan came down from 7×7 to 6×6 (ish). That’s a drop from $49 million to a little over $36 million and management still wouldn’t pay out for their f*cking captain… mid season… on the cusp of a playoff run?

    This will go down as one of the biggest betrayals in Rangers history.

    • Chris A says:

      Nah, when MSL posts 20 points in his first 10 games here you will forget all about Callahan.

      The Rangers were nice to Cally, they never negotiated with him using his true worth. If they really wanted to sign him the team’s initial offer would have been 5 years for $26M ($5.2M per season) and settle at 6 years $34M. Cally is not worth more than a $5.65M cap hit. That’s just a fact and there is no getting around it.

      • Chris F says:

        Chris A, it’ll be a cold day in hell when St. Louis produces at that level again. The guy is good, but never again will he do that.

        • Chris A says:

          He has three 15-point-in-10-game stretches this year and two of them were without Stamkos in the lineup. Currently he’s on a steak of 23 points in his last 20 games.

          The guy is a stud. Also, you do realize he’s the reigning Art Ross winner, right? Literally, no one produced more than MSL last year.

        • Dave says:

          MSL is still a point per game player.

          • Chris F says:

            PPG is quite different than 2PPG. The difference between an 82 point year and 164 point year. Chris A is being overly hyperbolic and made an exaggerated statement. My refutation stands: it will be a cold day in hell when St. Louis clicks at a consistent 2PPG pace.

            • Dave says:

              No one in the NHL is a 2 PPG player anymore. This isn’t the 80s.

              • Chris F says:

                And yet I’m supposed to forget about Callahan when MSL pots 20 points in the next 10 games?

        • VinceR says:

          He is the team’s leading scorer and he hasn’t played a game here yet.

    • John O says:

      The betrayal was Callahan’s wanting the Rangers to mortgage their future yet again for a 2nd/3rd line player with a lot of heart but only average offensive production and injury problems – see Chris Drury. The fans that are lamenting his leaving would have been clamoring for a buyout halfway through his 6-year deal. Kudos to Sather for not overpaying AND getting last year’s NHL point leader to address the Rangers’ lack of scoring.

      • Chris F says:

        With a Richards buyout and the cap increase, Callahan’s $6 million would have been quite reasonable.

    • Zen says:

      The only betrayal is the the money Cally was asking for. He would have been heavily overpaid for what he brings.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      I’m (very) sad to see him go, but that’s quite an overstatement. The Rangers placed a specific value on Callahan, he wanted more, and the team moved on. He’s a heart and soul guy who brought a lot to the table, but $6.5M just doesn’t jive with a 50 point forward with an injury history.

      • Chris F says:

        Callahan will get this money somewhere else… At least with the Rangers he has the history to actually warrant it. And it wouldn’t be that much of an impact given the cap increases and the departure of Richards.

  12. flswarty says:

    I’m Stunned – Marty is the real thing but i never thought he would push it to get out when Tampa is one the verge of something big. The rift with Yzerman must be huge because Marty is an unbelievable team guy. As a Lightning Season ticket holder it is sad. However a Ranger fan I am ecstatic on Marty coming to the Rangers. Really concerned about the price given up though

  13. Leatherneckinlv says:

    this trade reminds me of the days of aging stars for our future….prospects of high caliber are very important for the health of a contending team

  14. joe719 says:

    How anybody can justify giving up a #1 and a #2 for a 38 yr old player is beyond me. Obviously, Callahan was not worth the amounts of money we were hearing, but really; after watching the last 2 games, does anybody believe this team can win now??? The old mans retirement club is open again for business, with old man Sather again taking reservations. The only reason I think the Rangers would have made this trade would be that they have concerns about the future health of Callahan going forward. Or at least, that might be how they try to spin it(just like they tried with Middleton). In 2 yrs. two players who were considered to be captain material(Cally and Dubie) are gone. They run it like a rotisserie team; just sad!!!!!

    • Chris A says:

      This is how things work in a Cap World. Intangible-type players (Prust, Dubinsky, Callahan) become too expensive as they reach their late 20s. Good orgs let those guys leave and replace them with other, younger, cheaper, good soldiers from within the organization. Bad orgs (Toronto) spend millions to retain or acquire those same players.

      Miller, Fast, Lindberg are the guys that will be tasked with replacing Callahan. That’s just reality. It’s why the cap is awful for fans, but it’s the system that was agreed upon and we have to accept it.

    • paulronty says:

      38 & in fantastic shape. He’s good for another 5 years. Look at Jagr, guys are playing longer because they work very hard to stay in shape. Richards worked out with St’ Louis & you see the results. Now all you guys can speculate about Richards being bought out. Not going to happen.

  15. flatbush says:

    Don’t think the trade hurts or helps the run to the playoffs. Cali’s price will go higher or lower depending on how he finishes. Yes there could be a bidding war but nothing precludes the rangers from getting him back at the six/six level or spend that amount from another top UFA. Yes didn’t like the 1st rounder but thats no impact for the next 4 yrs. If that happens trade works for rangers

    • Chris A says:

      Callahan wants his money and on the open market he will get it. If a scrub like Clarkson can manage $37M over 7 years, Cally can find someone to pay him $45M over 7 years.

    • Ray says:

      It has to help. St. Louis is the Rangers’ best forward now. If Lundqvist plays like he did before the Olympics, the Rangers can win the Cup. If he plays like he did Sunday OTOH, the Rangers won’t even get in.

  16. Chris F says:


    Can we get a post on how this trade affects the dynamic of the lineup, including possible line combinations?

    Hagelin / Zuccarello / St. Louis. We have some pretty petite guys on the ice now.

    Slotting St. Louis on the 2nd line? With Hagelin and Richards. Too much smallness, too much oldness. This move sort of forces Richards onto the 1st line.

    Hagelin-Stepan-St. Louis

    Any place for Miller when Zuccarello returns?

    • Dave says:

      AHL, injury replacement for Miller.

    • Ray says:

      This move isn’t about size. We forget that Callahan was a little guy and one could argue that MSL, three inches shorter and only ten pounds lighter, is more substantial. He doesn’t throw his body around quite as much, but he isn’t shy about contact either. Nor are Zuc or Hagelin.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      You almost have to put St. Louis on Richards line, don’t you? They have that history. I’d switch up Hagelin (add some possession to the top line) and Kreider (add a bigger body and allow MSL to be the playmaker Kreider needs) and call it a day.

  17. SalMerc says:

    We just couldn’t pay a non-scoring 2nd line wing $6+M a year for 6 years. Not personal, just business. We all think we deserve a raise every year, but when you have work with a budget, it doesn’t always happen.

  18. SalMerc says:

    BTW – Is the site crashing for anyone else?

    • Dave says:

      Yes. Having issues. Cally trade broke the blog.

      • Hatrick Swayze says:

        Haha…good problem to have. Congrats there Dave. Maybe you need to look at organizational needs and deal from a position of strength (good bloggers) for a weakness (servers).

  19. Dave says:

    Dreger said Cally’s initial demands late last summer were 8 years and $7.5 million a year.

  20. Paco33 says:

    Love Cally but can’t help but think that if he wanted to stay a Ranger as much as MSL wanted to become one, Cally would still be here.

  21. "The Original" Rob says:

    I’m in shock that our former captain didn’t want to be the “6 Million Dollar Man” in the greatest city in the world! The draft picks pain me as well. However, my biggest concern for this team has been their size and physicality, and this trade makes that situation a lil worse. Just who on our top 3 lines can actually throw a body check now? Were like a team constructed out of that old Nintendo Hockey game where you had the super skinny and small guys that were lightning quick and could shoot , but once checked they would fly from one end of the rink to another lol. Too bad Kesler doesn’t like AV because he would be a plyer we would need w this current lineup. On the other hand, I cant wait to see Marty under the Garden lights tonight! LGR!!!

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      We just have to realize this team wins with speed and puck possession. They are a finesse team and as long as they defend, can beat a more physical team. The last two losses were more a product of defensive breakdowns, which has to be cleaned up.

      My thought is build on your strengths and St. Louis does do that. I don’t love the package given up, but he fits the team and does make them better.

      • "The Original" Rob says:

        Well yeah, at this point, that has to be the mindset of management. Speed, and creativity is the identity that management is trying to build on w this club. I guess they feel like, hey were not gonna be, or cant be more physical then some of the top teams in the East so, we will be different and use speed to our advantage. I get it. Hope it works. And please whoever gave me a thumbs down on my last post. Please tell me who can check on our top 3 lines? Please enlighten me lol?

  22. Paco33 says:

    Love Cally and he will be missed but I can’t help but think that if he had wanted to stay a Ranger as much as MSL apparently wanted to become one, Cally would still be here. He made it clear from the beginning that money was his priority rather than becoming one of the franchises all-time greats. There’s nothing wrong with that but, by the same token, there’s nothing wrong with Sather drawing such a firm line on what he was willing to do considering Cally’s negotiating posture.

  23. pavel_burrito says:

    Not a bad deal considering that both teams were dealing from the position of weakness. Cally was asking too much, and MSL demanded a trade. Usually, I think, demanding a trade, especially to a specific team, hamstrings the seller. But kudos to Stevie Y for pulling it off against a more seasoned GM.

  24. Dave says:

    It was the right move to make, but a painful move to make.

    • sheldon says:

      No Dave it was not the right move to make, The Rangers should have kept Cally for the remainder of the year then let him walk, this way we retain 6 mil and our 2 picks ,buy out Richards this summer so we have over 12 mil to sign other younger players. Do you think Sather will buy out Richards now that MSL is on the team ? Sather handcuffed us

      • TxRanger says:

        Richie is getting bought out regardless. He has one of the most ridiculous contracts in the league.

  25. Gary says:

    First off, I miss Callahan already. I liked him since his first shifts as a kid several years ago. I was proud to see him grow into the kind of player we could be so proud of. Pencil him into Claude Julien’s system next year. Public opinion’s already got him coming here.

    Second, can you imagine this POWER PLAY? It is going to be a thing of beauty. The team lately has been driven more by people like Derrick Brassard than Cally. These bobbing, weaving, crafty offensive players. For better or worse, that is the Rangers, with a couple power forwards thrown in.

    We are now an offensively skilled team with a solid back end and if Hank does not turn into a Pumkin again, an elite goalie.

    Enough to beat the Bruins? Maybe, maybe not. Pittsburgh? Yes. A lot is going to depend on who picks up what slack with Cally gone.

  26. Ray V says:

    I get the feeling Cally is with the Sabres next year. The deal did not get done with the Rangers, now he can be where he wants to be.

  27. Walt says:

    Don’t like this deal at all. We are giving up too much for an old man. Damn you Sather!!

    • VinceR says:

      They got MSL for a rental and two late round picks, granted those rounds are 1&2. Look at what the isles got for a rental (hahahah, just kidding, I’ll stop comparing things to a tire fire hahahahahahahahah). But seriously, I think it’s not bad.

      • Chris F says:

        Callahan is a “rental” to you?

        Yes, strictly speaking, Rangers acquired an elite offensive threat at least through next year, and Tampa acquired a 1st and 2nd draft pick and a player who is likely a rental for this season.

        But that rental just happened to be the Rangers’ effin’ captain!

        • Ray says:

          Sorry, being captain is an honor, not a birthright. Callahan’s contract demands showed juat what that honor meant to him.

  28. Paco33 says:

    Outside of the 2011-12 team, which was gritty as hell, most of our teams in the last 15 years or so have lacked an identity – not big, not particularly fast, not a power team, not a finesse team, sort of a ‘tweener. That is no longer the case. We have a coach with a very specific philosophy and a team that now really matches the style he (and Sather) want – a very fast, skilled, puck possession squad with excellent depth on D and a world-class netminder. It was easier to get faster than bigger and we now match up well with Pitt and Boston’s size is going to have to deal with our speed. No matter what, we’re going to be a helluva lot of fun to watch!

    • Chris A says:

      It’s going to be fun watching Nash or MSL turnstile the opposition’s second and third D pairs.

      • Paco33 says:

        Take the first period against Boston on Sunday, add at least one more goal, and extend it for more than 16 minutes (with standard, more solid games by our D and Hank) – that’s what Sather and AV are looking for.

  29. Dan says:

    I’m so TORN on this deal, I’ve enjoyed watching him play so much the last several years and when he went down with that broken leg from Chara’s shot a few years ago, I totally believe that’s why they didn’t beat Washington in that first round (Correct me if I’m wrong that was the series). He’s meant so much to the team and the locker room. It was awesome to see such a hard nosed, skilled player come through the pipe line and I was really hoping he would have been a life long Ranger ….

    But $6-$7 million dollars a year? He’s not that skilled. I was at the game on Sunday and I really focused on him when he was out there .. obviously with all the hoopla surrounding him. For someone who wants that kind of money, he should of been better. Like many of us have said, his game is not the kind of game that warrants that much money. He’s good but you should be hitting 60-70 points a year and create more offensive opportunities.

    Also, watching that game, we are definitely NOT beating Boston in a 7 game series, maybe even Pittsburgh. It was clear that Boston is above and beyond. They had a 2 goal lead and once we got close, they scored again. They suffocated us.That’s what good teams do. Plus Rask is becoming an elite goaltender in this league.

    I think we are much more skilled now with St. Louis, he will definitely help our PP but I’m not happy giving up 2 potentially first round picks, I’m really pissed about that. These kids that come up over the next year or two better fill in well. I think Miller will because he has shown glimpses of being able to hang with the big boys but the jury is still out on Fast, Lindberg and Kristo. Losing these first rounders, IMO, are a killer.

  30. Hockeyfan27 says:

    Either way their all over paid!

  31. Chuck A says:

    Here’s a bender as the day winds down: how about Cally resigns with the Rangers next year????

  32. Mdk says:

    So lost in all of this…Boomer was right.

  33. Bort says:

    I’m think the general consensus so far is that trading Cally away instead of paying over 6 million was fine, but losing potentially 2 1st round picks in the process may have shot us in the foot some years from now.

  34. paulronty says:

    Either Richards or McDonagh would make excellent captains in my view.

    • sheldon says:

      They both would be good captains but i think Girardi should get it .

    • Bort says:

      Well its looking more and more like Richards is going to be here for the foreseeable future, so it might be good to get as much use out of his experience as possible.

  35. P-Tam says:

    Hi Guys, first time post here so go easy… I really enjoy reading all of your comments. Very knowledgable group! So my question is… Is anyone sad over the fact that Cally didn’t choose to stay with the Rangers and accept the offer? It seems strange to uproot your family when you are playing for your home team (Cally is a native NYer), the fans love you, the team loves you and you playing in the biggest market in the world. Isn’t all of that worth more than getting more $$ in a smaller market?