Lightning "hopeful" to sign Callahan; Lindback still in mix
Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said Friday he's had "really good discussions" with Ryan Callahan's camp and is still hopeful to sign the veteran forward before he becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.
"We still have some time," Yzerman said. "We'd really like to keep Ryan in the organization, and we're going to continue to work. I'd like to get a deal done before he reaches free agency."
Callahan, acquired in the blockbuster Marty St. Louis trade in March, fit in well with Tampa Bay, with coach Jon Cooper loving his gritty two-way style. Callahan, the former Rangers captain, said he enjoyed his time with the Lightning. The key question, of course, will be how much he's asking for and for how long.
Yzerman said they're still working to sign their restricted free agents, having already locked up Tyler Johnson, Ondrej Palat and Alex Killorn in recent weeks. "We expect to get deals with them at some point," Yzerman said. "We're optimistic."
Yzerman said they're still talking with goalie Anders Lindback as they're looking for a backup goalie for Ben Bishop. "He's still in the mix," Yzerman said. "They understand what I'm trying to do at this point and he's still a guy we're considering signing for next year."
As much as the Lightning loves goalie prospects Andrei Vasilevskiy and Kristers Gudlevskis, Yzerman said it's important that they play. And with Bishop carrying a heavy load as the No. 1, having someone like Lindback as the back-up might work out better.