Lightning, Callahan on verge of long-term deal
The Lightning and veteran wing Ryan Callahan are on the verge of a long-term deal, which could be agreed upon as early as Wednesday.
Callahan, 29, was scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent July 1st. The terms weren't immediately available, but it's believed to be in excess of five years and as much as $5.5 million annually. Callahan was acquired from the Rangers in March in the blockbuster Marty St. Louis trade.
"Very productive talks today between SCG and @TBLightning regarding pending UFA Ryan Callahan," tweeted Scott Bartlett, one of Callahan's agents. "Finding common ground toward new deal."
Once Callahan signs, Tampa Bay would have to send a second-round draft pick to the Rangers to complete the deal. The Lightning received two first-round picks from New York in the deal that sent former captain Marty St. Louis to the Rangers.
Callahan and the Lightning have been in discussions for weeks, with very productive talks taking place in the past couple days and common ground found on a new deal. Callahan is able to speak with other teams at midnight tonight, and general manager Steve Yzerman said they wanted to get a deal done before he became a UFA.
Callahan had six goals and five assists in 20 games with the Lightning, bringing a gritty, two-way style that coach Jon Cooper said the team needed.