Tuesday, December 12, 2017
Tampa Bay Lightning

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.

Comments
How Lightning coach Jon Cooper reinvented himself

How Lightning coach Jon Cooper reinvented himself

BRANDON — The best team in town had just wrapped up practice. The Lightning had a plane to catch, to St. Louis, where Tuesday in St. Louis begins a four-city road trip that ends at expansion Las Vegas, exclusive engagement, one show a night, unless y...
Published: 12/11/17
All boxes checked on Lightning home stand sweep; now, back to the road

All boxes checked on Lightning home stand sweep; now, back to the road

TAMPA — You don’t often see a coach making shadow puppets on the wall with his hands at the start of his postgame news conference, but that’s where the Lightning is these days after sweeping a four-game home stand with Saturday night’s 4-3 overtime v...
Published: 12/10/17
Updated game story: Lightning’s Brayden Point credits luck, opportunity for OT winner vs. Jets

Updated game story: Lightning’s Brayden Point credits luck, opportunity for OT winner vs. Jets

TAMPA — His coach says he plays every game as if he doesn’t play his best, he’s going to be sent down. That is not the case with Brayden Point, but who doesn’t want that kind of effort from a second-year player who has more than established himself i...
Published: 12/09/17

Brayden Point scores in OT to give Lightning win over Jets

TAMPA — The Jets saw Saturday’s game against the Lightning as a benchmark game, a way to measure themselves against the NHL’s top team. The Lightning had circled the game, the last of a four-game home stand."It’s going to be a big test for us," Light...
Published: 12/09/17
Lightning journal: Power-play players make me look good, Jon Cooper says

Lightning journal: Power-play players make me look good, Jon Cooper says

TAMPA — How about that Lightning power play."Coaching," coach Jon Cooper said before Saturday’s game with the Jets.He was kidding."You always look like a good coach when you can throw (Nikita) Kucherov and (Steven) Stamkos and (Victor) Hedman over th...
Published: 12/09/17

Roger Mooney’s takeaways from Saturday’s Lightning-Jets game

The game drew the hockey world’s attention because it matched the NHL’s top team against a rising team in the West. It was refreshing to see both treat it as more than just another game. The Jets saw a chance to measure themselves against the top tea...
Published: 12/09/17
Attitude adjusted, Cory Conacher focused on sticking with Lightning

Attitude adjusted, Cory Conacher focused on sticking with Lightning

TAMPA — When Cory Conacher was called up a little over a week ago, it looked like it might be for just a one-game cameo.Center Cedric Paquette had been suspended for one game for boarding, and the Lightning, otherwise healthy up front, needed a fill-...
Published: 12/09/17
Another test tonight for Lightning

Another test tonight for Lightning

Big one tonight at Amalie Arena as the Lightning finish off its four-game homestand against the visiting Jets, who at one point earlier this week were tied with the Lightning (20-6-2, 42 points) for the NHL lead in points.Since then, the Jets (17-8-4...
Published: 12/09/17
Attitude adjusted, Cory Conacher focused on sticking with Lightning

Attitude adjusted, Cory Conacher focused on sticking with Lightning

TAMPA — When Cory Conacher was called up a little over a week ago, it looked like it might be for just a one-game cameo.Center Cedric Paquette had been suspended for one game for boarding, and the Lightning, otherwise healthy up front, needed a fill-...
Published: 12/09/17
Steven Stamkos’ toughest rehab leads to his greatest hockey

Steven Stamkos’ toughest rehab leads to his greatest hockey

TAMPA — Steven Stamkos picked up steam near the Lightning blue line early in Thursday’s first period.By the time the captain reached center ice, he was seemingly at warp speed. Stamkos, 27, chasing a Vladislav Namestnikov pass off the boards, split t...
Published: 12/08/17