The 2014 NHL Trade Deadline kicked off with an eye-opening deal. Tampa Bay Lightning veteran forward and captain Martin St. Louis (61 points/62 games) has been traded to the New York Rangers for captain Ryan Callahan (25 points/45 games).
This trade has been in speculation for quite some time, after an apparent fall-out with Lightning GM Steve Yzerman after he did not select St. Louis to Team Canada for the 2014 Olympics. It was, however believed that Callahan would re-sign with the Blueshirts before the 3:00 ET deadline. When they couldn’t come to an agreement (approximately less than $1 million/yr and 1 year difference in negotiations), the trade commenced with two more-than-willing players.
Tampa Bay also acquired a 1st Round draft pick in next year’s draft and a conditional 2nd Round pick in this year’s draft. The conditional pick is dependent on whether or not Callahan re-signs with Tampa this off-season. If he re-signs with the Lightning, New York gets an additional pick in return.
The 38-year old St. Louis will try to be one of the last pieces of the puzzle for New York to make a run for the Stanley Cup this year. He is under contract for one more season following this campaign. He is slated to make $5,000,000 next year, which is $1.5 million less than this season. Steven Stamkos will likely take over as Tampa’s captain.
The 28-year old Callahan is set to become a UFA this summer, and will likely be used as a rental piece by the Bolts, as they will be unlikely to give him the contract he demanded from the Rangers.
Callahan will likely be slotted into the first line on Tampa Bay’s depth chart, with Stamkos at center and Ondrej Palat at left wing.
TSN reports that St. Louis is attempting to arrive in NY in time for tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Bob McKenzie believes St. Louis will be playing on the second line alongside speedy left-winger Carl Hagelin and center Brad Richards. That sounds like one fast line.
Keep your eyes on HOHM as we report on each trade that occurs this afternoon.
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