Make us your home page

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Lightning a good fit for Ryan Callahan so far

It's been a little more than two weeks since the Lightning traded captain Marty St. Louis to the Rangers for Ryan Callahan, and in the short term, anyway, Tampa Bay has gotten the better of the deal.

Callahan has two goals, including a winner, and five points in nine games and is plus-5 with an average 19:34 of ice time. St. Louis has zero goals and three assists in 10 games with New York and is plus-3 with an average 19:56 of ice time.

Like St. Louis, Callahan, a right wing, plays in all situations. But Callahan plays with a gritty edge St. Louis does not.

"That kid knows how to play the game below the dots," coach Jon Cooper said, "and we just haven't had a ton of those guys wheel through our organization."

"He's been great for us," captain Steven Stamkos said. "You don't really know what to expect when a guy comes into a new situation. We knew the type of player 'Cally' is, but you don't know until you play with him and you see every shift and at every practice how hard he works.

"He's a competitor, and he wants to win. He fits into the mold Cooper wants our team to play perfectly."

How Callahan fits — in Cooper's system and the locker room — will go a long way toward determining whether the potential unrestricted free agent signs with Tampa Bay.

General manager Steve Yzerman struck the right tone with Callahan's camp by not pressuring the player into immediate negotiations, preferring Callahan first get a sense of the organization, the Tampa Bay area, the coaching staff and his new teammates.

Rangers owner James Dolan went on a New York radio station last week and said Callahan's reported demand of between $6.25 million and $6.5 million a year for six years would have hamstrung the organization. But Callahan's agent has said Florida's lack of state income tax means players can be willing to play for less.

So, back to comfort zone.

Callahan said his transition has been fairly seamless: "It's been pretty quick. The guys welcomed me, and everyone was great. After the first couple of days, I felt pretty comfortable in the room, off the ice and on the ice, too."

In New York, on the other hand, the talk is of St. Louis pressing.

Considering he was negotiating only with the Rangers, Yzerman did well to get Callahan as well as a first-round draft pick in 2015 and a second-rounder this year that will become a first if New York reaches the Eastern Conference final .

It's been a short-term win for the Lightning and might be a long-term one as well.

Lightning a good fit for Ryan Callahan so far 03/22/14 [Last modified: Sunday, March 23, 2014 12:23am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Cannon Fodder podcast: Sorting through the Bucs' injuries


    Greg Auman sorts through the Bucs players sidelined with injury and illness in the latest edition of our Cannon Fodder podcast.

    Kwon Alexander left the Bucs' game against the Bears with a hamstring injury. [WILL VRAGOVIC   |   Times]
  2. College football week 4: Tampa Bay Times staff predictions


    The Times' college football coverage team makes its picks for week 4 of the college football season:

    USF coach Charlie Strong and the Bulls face Temple in a 7:30 p.m. game Thursday at Raymond James Stadium. LOREN ELLIOTT   |   Times
  3. Young girl injured by 105 mph foul at Yankee Stadium renews call for more netting


    NEW YORK — A young girl at Yankee Stadium was injured by a 105 mph foul ball off the bat of Todd Frazier during Wednesday's game against Minnesota, leading some players to call for protective netting to be extended.

    Baseball fans reacts as a young girl is tended to before she is carried out of the seating area after being hit by a line drive in the fifth inning of a baseball game between the New York Yankees and Minnesota Twins, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, at Yankee Stadium in New York. [Associated Press]
  4. Clearwater enjoys view from the top


    CLEARWATER — The offense still has a familiar feel. Short passes become big gains. Linemen drive their opponents in reverse, forcefully and repeatedly. Runs along the sideline continue to leave defenders breathlessly behind.

    The outcomes are similar, too.

    Clearwater’s Brandon Gary, from left, Jacob Day, Damon Dennis and Jarius Williams celebrate a turnover recovery deep in Countryside High territory during the second quarter of Monday’s game at Countryside. Clearwater won 35-14.
  5. Rick and Tom podcast: Lots of questions for college football teams in Florida


    In just three weeks, the state of college football in Florida went from high expectations to lots of questions at USF with slow starts, Florida with no offense and Florida State losing quarterback Deondre …

    Despite slow starts, quarterback Quinton Flowers and USF take a 3-0 record into tonight's game against Temple. [OCTAVIO JONES | Times]