Irresponsible RumormongeringPlayers

Everything you need to know about the Dan Girardi/Ryan Callahan situation

Throughout the year, there have been rumblings about trading Dan Girardi or Ryan Callahan. We’ve mostly been dismissive about them. Over the past two days, we’ve seen a big blowup in the rumors, and received a bunch of emails. So let’s answer all of them:

Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images
Photo by Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images

Q: What exactly is going on?

Both Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi are set to become unrestricted free agents at the end of the year, and both are due for relatively big pay increases. There have been rumblings –from multiple media members, including Bob McKenzie– that the Rangers are entertaining trade offers for both. The rumors are that they will trade them both instead of risking losing them for nothing. It seems that Girardi is the one who will most likely re-sign soon, but Cally’s contract negotiations are not going well.

Q: What do they want in their next deals?

Citing the Larry Brooks article linked above, Girardi is looking for a six-year deal worth about $5.5 million per season. In other words, he is looking for Jay Bouwmeester money. That contract will keep Girardi in  blue until his age-36 season, and is honestly fair market value for Girardi. I had Girardi pegged at $5.5 million when I projected the 2014-2015 payroll. That’s about $2.2 million more than Girardi is making now ($3.325 million).

According to Brooks, Cally is beginning the negotiations at six-years and $42 million ($7 million per season). If you’re balking at those numbers, you should be. Players with comparable cap hits: Jason Spezza, Joe Thornton, Patrick Marleau, Alex Semin, Pavel Datsyuk, and many, many more. This is probably just the “initial offer” in the negotiations. Cally isn’t going to get $7 million on the open market. I apparently don’t know math. It’s sven years, $42 million, or $6 million a year. I have Cally pegged at a Dustin Brown type contract, somewhere in the neighborhood of $5.5 million a season, depending on length. Suit touched on the Cally dilemma earlier this week as well.

Q: What are the Rangers offering?

Again citing Brooks (who will be source from here on out), the Rangers have two offers on the table for Girardi: A six-year deal at $5 million, or a five-year deal at $5.5 million. Both are palatable from a cap perspective. If those are the offers on the table, then Girardi will likely re-sign soon.

Update: Larry Brooks is reporting the Rangers have deald of $5.2 million for 6 years and $5.7 for 5 years on the table.

There’s no report of what the Rangers are offering Cally, but it’s a safe assumption they won’t be anywhere near $7 million a season will be below $6 million a year.

Q: Will the Rangers trade Cally or Girardi?

Well this is the $64,000 question. The recent hot streak leads me to believe that the club won’t trade either one. Both are critical pieces to a wide open Eastern Conference. Girardi is a top-pairing defenseman who has been part of one of the best shutdown tandems in the game today. Throw in that he’s a right-handed shot, and his value to the Rangers sky-rockets. As for Cally, he’s the captain of the team and there’s a reason for that. You don’t trade your captain or a top pairing defenseman if you think you can make a run in the playoffs.

Q: What can the Rangers get as a return for Cally and Girardi?

Girardi’s value has been reported before, and it’s roughly the same as Marian Hossa at the time he was traded. The price will be at least one young NHL ready prospect, another NHL ready prospect or a top prospect, and a first round pick. Girardi, if made available, would likely be the best player made available at the deadline.

Cally’s value would probably be in the same ballpark as Girardi’s, but not quite as high. A young NHL guy and a first round pick is probably the starting point. But again, I don’t think he –or Girardi– get traded.

Q: What will happen if there’s no deal before the trade deadline?

There are three options for the Rangers if they don’t have deals with Cally/Girardi before the trade deadline:

  1. Keep them and risk losing them for nothing in exchange for a –hopefully– deep playoff run.
  2. Trade them for picks and prospects to rebuild a team that doesn’t really need rebuilding.
  3. Trade them for young NHL guys who are making impacts already in a retooling.

Q: What would you offer them in deals if you were GM?

This one’s easy. The rumored Girardi offers are exactly what I’d give him. I’d lean towards the six-year deal based solely on Girardi’s durability in the past. If the club gets him for $5 million, then their top pairing on defense costs only $9.7 million, and it’s one of the best top pairings in the game. Talk about a bargain.

As for Cally, I’d tell him what Dustin Brown got, and I’d say that’s your market value. I’d be hesitant to give Cally longer than five years though. Durability becomes an issue, and his style of play doesn’t really age well (see: Tucker, Darcy; Drury, Chris; Peca, Michael). I’d sacrifice term for a higher cap hit. Maybe five years, $30 million.

Over the next three weeks –or until one of both re-sign– we are going to see a lot of Girardi and Callahan contract updates. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

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  • Put your GM hat on:

    If the Rangers are able to come to terms with Girardi ($5M) and Callahan ($5.75M), how would that affect the signing of the other RFAs:


    • Wow RFiB, that is a tough one. I keep Kreider no matter what. He’s going nowhere. Very close to that view on Moore too. Brassard would be a good keep too, but maybe he goes if we get in a numbers crunch? Sort of a ‘sell high’ thing.

      The way this team is gelling though, I hope there is a way to keep them all plus G & Cally. It would have to start with Richards getting his walking papers as planned.

      If one of Girardi or Callahan were to be traded I’d swallow hard and say Callahan, simply because of the durability issue. But I want this team as it is, intact. Minus maybe Boyle, and I am not one of the Boyle haters. Just not sure he’s needed given the numbers crunch in bodies and well, numbers.

      • I ran the numbers on CapGeek, I think you could keep all 6 and Boyle (and Carcillo if you are so inclined) by cutting Richards. Sorry if the formatting is hard to read. I even kept Pouliot and gave him a raise. There’s plenty of wiggle room in the Rangers current cap situation.

        CapGeek Armchair GM Roster
        Rick Nash ($7.800m) / Derek Stepan ($3.075m) / Chris Kreider ($2.250m)
        Carl Hagelin ($2.250m) / J.T. Miller ($0.894m) / Ryan Callahan ($5.800m)
        Danny Kristo ($0.827m) / Derick Brassard ($4.000m) / Mats Zuccarello ($2.700m)
        Benoit Pouliot ($2.200m) / Brian Boyle ($2.100m) / Derek Dorsett ($1.633m)
        Daniel Carcillo ($1.000m) /
        Ryan McDonagh ($4.700m) / Dan Girardi ($5.400m)
        Marc Staal ($3.975m) / Anton Stralman ($2.800m)
        John Moore ($1.800m) / Kevin Klein ($2.900m)
        Henrik Lundqvist ($8.500m)
        Cameron Talbot ($0.563m)
        Wade Redden ($0.000m)
        Brad Richards ($0.000m)
        CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
        (estimations for 2014-15)
        SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $67,166,875; BONUSES: $350,000
        CAP SPACE (21-man roster): $3,933,125

          • Anytime, check out the armchair GM page on Capgeek. It’s a fun applet to play around with.

        • Way toooooooo much for Strahlman!!! That man can be replaced easily enough from within with McIlrath, or Allan!

          • Walt, I think you’re half right, Stralman could be replaced by Klein on the 2nd pair and Allen or McIlrath slides in on the third pair. Of course, that is working on the assumption that Klein finishes the year strong.

            $2.8M for a second pair UFA D is definitely not too much. If anything, Stralman will likely get close to $3.5M on the open market. That $2.8 was as high as I would be willing to go to resign him.

          • Chris

            With limited monies available, and better players being needed for re-signing, Callie, Girardi, and the kids Kreider, and Zucc, you can’t pay that kind of money for Strahlman.

            If one believes that he is worth $2.8 to $3.5 mil on the open market, let him go. I for one don’t see that kind of value for the man. One has to remember that we picked him up from the scrap heap, Devils cast off, for nothing, and now he is worth this much, I think not!!!!!

        • Nice job, but I make the perhaps not germane comment that, as I read the stats, Kristo is not as close as Fast.

          • I was using Kristo as more of a placeholder to make the numbers work.

            My thinking is if the Rangers don’t sign anyone from outside the org this summer, buy out Richards, retain all of their RFAs/UFAs except for one of Boyle/D. Moore, then two of the kids need to step into regular roles. Kids could be anyone, Kristo, Fast, Lindberg, Miller. Of course they could sign a player or two for a top nine role and that takes the reliance off of the kids.

          • The Rangers need one solid top 6 center to round out your team, but otherwise it looks good.

      • I agree there is plenty of room to sign all the current players. Boyle is the toughest to predict. He’s a purely slow defensive forward on a speedy offensively oriented team. I’d say if he wants to extend his current deal to stay then maybe he does but I’m sure he wouldn’t mind going home to Boston. Much of this depends on wether they can get value from an ELC or two in the everyday lineup like Miller, Lindberg, Kristo, and/or Fasth

  • Dave, I think you’re off on the reported Cally demands (and I stress “reported”). I believe Brooks said he’s asking for a 7 year, $42 mill. deal, which makes his average cap hit $6 million per (not $7 m). That’s more in the ballpark — but still too high. Just an opening bid.

  • Don’t gang up on me for actually recommending a Hockeybuzz article but this one has nothing to do with trade rumors being pulled out of a hat. Go read Eklunds post about the logic of trading Cally. For once I actually agree with Eklund on something.
    “Lose him for nothing if you have to. At least you tried to win something”
    This is exactly how I feel. If they trade Cally, it puts The nail in the coffin for this season. He will be a rental for a Stanley cup ccontender. This means they will get a prospect and a first round pick. That does nothing for this team for this season and with the way this team has looked the past month, they can play with any team in the East.

    Ditto for Girardi.

    • It really depends on how Sather feels about this team. According to Bob McKenzie the Rangers brass does not feel this team is a cup contender this year.

      • Everyone keeps saying that, but the playoffs are a different animal.
        If you had listened to all the pundits the last two years, we should have handed Pittsburgh the Cup before the season started and we all know how that worked out. I’m sorry I believe the Rangers are playing well and will make the playoffs. Also I’m not rational when it comes to Callahan. I’ve informed my husband that if they trade Callahan we will be watching the new team which I hear is Boston. He looked sad, but I pay the cable bill, so I rule.

      • According to Mckenkie who sure didn’t get that quote from Sather himself. Sather can’t stand the media and he holds them all in contempt. McKenzie made that up because if it were the case, a significant trade would have been made already. I don’t see Sather needing to do much at all. Maybe a top 9 righty. I wouldn’t mind Parenteau at all. For say Boyle the Rangers could fit that 4 mil under the cap.

  • Dave, thanks for the post. Alot of chatter and the clarity is appreciated. Article broke down the situation real well.

    Here’s another theoretical for you. Who is more worth a 5 yr at $6 mil per deal- Callahan or Moulson?

    Here’s what I’m getting at:
    Would it be wise to move Callahan for a player and pick prior to the playoffs and then try to fill the hole during free agency? In other words, would you prefer to make our team worse for the playoffs this year in order to really try and cement a contender for next?

    • I don’t. I think this team can play with anyone in the East.
      Clearly the top two are Boston and Pittsburg
      Last season the Rangers depth was exposed by Boston in the playoffs and they certainly have improved in that aspect. They now have a fourth line that can play shutdown minutes and still chip in offensively.
      Also I don’t think Pittsburg is a runaway in the playoffs simply because of Fleury in net. Every playoff series is a coin flip with that guy whether he plays well or craps the bed.

      With the way Hank has been playing and how the offense has looked (Nash is finally playing like the superstar they traded for) I certainly can see the Rangers giving either of those teams a run for their money in a 7 game series

      • I tend to agree with you Spozo. The last 4 or so weeks of the season has changed my opinion of the team in front of us and how competitive they can be.

        I think that the Klein transaction is an indication of Sather’s intentions to give it a go this year. And if if if either of the 2 players do get dealt it will be because a deal could not get done. And we will require players back who can contribute this yr. It would be a sideways move which would not jeopardize our ability to win this yr.

        • We’re on the same page. I also think Sather had to do his due diligence and see what teams would be offering. Who knows if another McDonagh could fall in to his lap.

    • First of all Callahan is not the same player he was coming back from this injury. Also, don’t forget the Drury, Peca, Tucker comparison. His value is at it’s highest right now! Gulp…I would trade him to a Western Conference team and get what you can for him. That being said he has recently been on the third line and is on the PK and taken off the PP. Also, remember you have Nash who was captain in Columbus, Staal an original NYR and enough leadership on this team to handle a Callahan trade.

  • I love Callie, but not for $7 mil per year, and six year contract! Not more than $5-$5.25 per year, for five years. He is the heart and sole of this team, but he is replaceable, as we’re seeing him now on the third line!!!!!

    The only reason I believe that Girardi will be signed, right handed D, and he seems to have made the adjustment to the new system. If he gets greedy, trade him for the value mentioned.

  • Assuming Brooks is right, Sather has to believe he can sign Girardi at some point and won’t trade him, period.
    I do not believe that Sather will make any moves that he thinks will hurt the 2014 Rangers. If he deals Cally, he will get a top forward in return somehow – either directly or by using the cap space and young talent he can get to make a second deal. The new york Rangers do not concede the Cup.

    I will say that I don’t think Callahan is the great captain he was two years ago. He was the embodiment of an esprit de corps that is no longer there. He’s still a great player and hopefully will remain a Ranger, but it’s time to turn the page and make Nash captain.

    • You may be right on Callahan, but I’m not sure I’m comfortable handing the captaincy to Nash. I just don’t see it.

      One of the defensemen should be considered, Staal (if re-signed) or Girardi (ditto). They have been here longer and already wear the A (Girardi has in Staal’s absence). I’d even consider McDonagh, but he may be a little green – but is a future captain.

    • Good points. What he was the best leader for doesn’t exist anymore. He was partly created by Torts. That said, keep Cally if his heart is in NY and he can be signed for no more than Dustin Brown (and pref. less) $$. Otherwise, maybe it is time to move the team on to what’s next.

      That said, I like Nash, but not as captain. Girardi or Staal would fit the bill nicely.

  • Wow! Good article and many great comments. Up until two weeks ago, I may have been leaning toward this team not really making any kind of run. Then Hank starts playing well, and they pick up a great stay at home in Klein. I have been a long-time fan (50 years) and not sure I have seen a heart like Cally’s ever. To me that’s worth a million, so if you pay him 5.5 your getting him for 4.5 + heart! His play, and lead by example are infectious, and hold all accountable. Money!

  • When Calley was out this year, the Rangers were winning. He is a good player (but injury prone), but the Rangers can compensate. I say it is time for the Rangers to get a really high draft choice and get a John Tavaris, Sidney Cosby,or Stankos type of player. We need a couple of young elite players out of the draft. It’s worth the wait! Whether by dealing Cally or even Girardi. If they sign Cally long term, they will get screwed in the long run. Pittsburgh and Chicago built a dynasty with good young draft choices, not afraid to remove some old wood. The Rangers will not win the cup this year anyway

    • They are in second place in the division, have won 8 of their last 11, and just signed Hank for the next six years. You want to dismantle the team and start over by dressing a crap team for the next 5 years so they can draft a franchise player?

      That’s a joke right?

      • Spozo: Hey man, thanks for the response. I see what you’re saying but this team as is will not win a seven game playoff series with Anaheim, Chicago, Boston,or Pittsburgh; just to name a few. They are a good team but not a strong balanced great team yet. The Islanders (who are getting better)even give them a run for their money. The Rangers have some excellent core players to build around (Hank, Mac, Krieder, Zuc, Nash and some others) but must continue to think future for greatness or they will stay just good. Sometimes that means sacrifice and some luck. I am really enjoying their play lately but they will not go all the way yet (I believe they’re not that far away though)It wouldn’t take 5 years (and total dismantling) if they got some high end draft talent to build with. I have been a Ranger fan many years and I am tired of settling for good when a New York team should have and could have been great some part of the last twenty years. Boston and Chicago had a lull for a couple of years and built Stanley Cup great teams. There is still a lack of depth and some serious holes to yet fill. As an example,Pittsburgh had something like eight or ten starting players injured this year(at the same time) and still won 10 out of 11 games. They have a strong and smart organization loaded with young talent. Granted we have a few potential minor league guys but not that deep with potential elite talent. My point is, why not get a number one draft pick for Cally or Girardi who may be walking anyway? I’d even sweeten the pot with another decent minor league player. I don’t think that’s drastically dismantling.

        • Trading Callahan isn’t getting you a top 1-4 pick.

          The kind of immediate, franchise changing talent you want doesn’t drop to the bottom half of the first round. Virtually any player drafted by the Rangers this summer with the prospective pick(s) received for trading anyone on the current roster is at least two years away from the NHL.

          You say the Rangers have some good core pieces. I agree. I think you are discounting the fact that the Rangers roster for the most part is really young and will become better simply through the passage of time. I know it’s hard to believe as a Ranger fan as we are used to rosters littered with players on the downside of their careers. Other than Richards, there is really no one that you should reasonably expect to decline over the next two seasons.

          • Agree with most of your post except I can see Callie breaking down because of his style of play. I love Callie, and have stated so on many occasions, but the man is small, and throws his body around the way he does, has caused many injuries, and will probably do so in the future as well. Girardi could be put on that list as well, all those blocked shots under Tort’s system may have taken it’s toll on Danny boy!!!!!

          • If he breaks, he breaks. That’s what LTIR is for right?

            Maybe the Rangers frontload the hell out of his contract so he can be traded to Buffalo to play out the last 2 years of his contract. There’s a large set of teams that love a player with a big cap hit and a low salary. With the cap going up, and more importantly the salary floor, those contracts will become more desirable around the league.

          • That’s a really fair point about Drury, Walt, but please remember that Drury had a no trade clause. If Callahan is getting that kind of money he’s not getting a no trade clause. Like I said before, if they frontload Callahan’s contract he becomes a very easy player to trade once his salary falls significantly below his cap hit.

            Also Drury was a mercenary on a mediocre team. Callahan is a homegrown player on a cup contender. I would imagine if Callahan and the Rangers had to part ways it would be much less acrimonious.

  • There is only so much cap space to go around. Callahans’ and Danny’s future prospects of playing for the Rangers was lost when Sather blew his brains out with the signing of Lundquist and the trade for Nash. Good luck winning the Stanley Cup Henk.

    • First of all the easiest free agent to sign is simply NOT buying out Richards. He is significantly better than Callahan on offense. All of the leadership stuff is gone now that Rangers are not the Black and Blue Shirts. Callahan is only a good defender that scores scrappy goals from the front. Have you noticed the PP has improved without the beloved Captain even on the second unit. Watch him play, head down, no ice vision, no creativity with a pass (BTW – this also describes Dubinsky).

      Rangers should Trade Callahan to simply open a spot for Miller on the current roster.

      The only problem is every other GM in the league understands what I am writing so the offers will not be great, but Sather needs to take it.

      Most importantly so they can keep Richards who will also get better once the unimaginative Callahan is off the wing.

      As for Giradi, no brainier. Sign him the day the trade Callahan happens and give him the C that he deserves.

      • That is a ballsy post Rob. And I am not sure it is entirely wrong. It made me think, a good thing.

        But it under values Callahan by a lot IMO. NA Hockey is a tough, straight ahead sport and Callahan and those GM’s you wrote about would line up for him. Head up, head down… it doesn’t matter. We don’t want a lineup full of ice dancers.

        The problem with Callahan is that his skills probably = 3rd line, but he is a captain likely to demand relatively big bucks.

      • I forgot. Who is the points leader this year? Richards!

        I know Nash and Cally missed games.

        The chance the Rangers buyout Richards is zero.

        The trade the Rangers should make is Cally for Gaborik to make this a real speed team. Maybe even get a pick or young player in addition. Gaborik is perfect for AV!

        • You were making sense until the Gabby comment. Reading Cally for Chris Stewart. As much as I love Cally and want to resign him, I think that move would make NYR a better team. My 9-yr old son would be devastated however and become a Blues fan….and we can’t have that.

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