Update, 12:02 p.m.:
Bob McKenzie at TSN throws a bit of a monkey wrench into Boomer's impending Callahan trade claims by tweeting that the Rangers don't have anything imminent in terms of trade for Callahan or Girardi and he expects it all to play out over 7 to 10 days.
McKenzie also adds that there hasn't been any progress on contract extensions for either player and terms are still the holdup.
For better or worse, the fast-moving NHL season hit a sudden lull once the season abruptly paused for the Olympics. Consquently, trade rumors were affected in the same way. The rumor mill seemed to be churning out more stories about Ryan Callahan every day, but the Olympics put a hault to that.
The USA sputtered out of the Olympics in amazingly deplorable way, and Canada defeated Sweden just now to win Gold. Olympic hockey is over, and we've now hit the symbolic start to the trading deadline frenzy while the official one is approaching; the trade freeze ends tonight at 11:59pm. Boomer Esiason has kicked off what soccer fans call "silly season" with a vague, yet dramatic and thunderous tweet.
Now, while that could basically mean anything, Boomer did spend a lot of time responding to questions and elaborating. From there it becomes a bit more clear to what he is referring. Let us first establish Esiason's credibility. He's a former New York athlete. He's also a radio host on WFAN. And he's a former athlete and current radio host who is a huge Rangers fan. Those things give him limitless friendships and resources. Even if it feels a bit strange to get hockey news from a former NFL quarterback, it makes sense that he would have a scoop. Most importantly, Esiason alluded to a potential Del Zotto-Klein trade weeks before it actually occurred and at a time when Nashville wasn't even speculated to be interested in Del Zotto. He also told me that, on a scale of 1-to-10 with 10 being Glen Sather himself told Esiason, he rates this source as a nine. I see no reason to believe that Esiason would make it up or that he'd have bad information. So let's continue on from here assuming that he knows what he's doing. Keep reading to see my speculation of potential moves based on Esasion's elaborations.
If you want to read all of his tweets then check them out here. However, there are a lot of them. I've done my best to narrow them down to the important points. Here are the main takeaways.
- As he sees it, the trade is already agreed upon
- There will be "lots of chatter" about it
- The trading partner is an Eastern Conference team
- It's a move involving "offense"
- The player coming to New York has a mix of grit and skill
- There will be mixed opinions about it
- It appears to be a 1-for-1 trade, with perhaps a draft pick involved
- The player the Rangers would be acquiring has "enough" points
- "Majority" of Rangers fans "wouldn't be happy initially" with the deal
- It doesn't involve Lundqvist, Nash, or Stepan
- He basically does everything but outright say that it's Ryan Callahan
- It isn't Buffalo and, therefore, it doesn't involve Matt Moulson.
It's been awfully quiet in terms of Callahan and Rangers contract discussions, hasn't it? Esiason says the trade is more or less agreed to in principle, and that only if "said player changes his mind on (money)" would the deal be upended. Assuming this is accurate, it makes me believe that the Rangers settled on trading Callahan some time ago and that they're only waiting for the trade freeze to end. Anyway, what we're looking for here is an Eastern Conference team that would be interested in Callahan, would be willing to move an NHL-caliber forward who puts up points and has some grittiness to his game, and isn't the Buffalo Sabres. I honestly have no idea what direction this could be headed, which in some ways makes it agonizingly annoying and in other ways makes it fun and exciting. I'll do my best to come up with some potential scenarios here. Note that theses are suggestions for trades I think are plausible and not necessarily personal preferences.
Why am I opening with Ottawa? I don't know. This whole situation has a scent of "out-of-left-field" to it so why not Ottawa? Senators GM Brian Murray recently said he is willing to spend and is in the market for a power forward. Callahan doesn't have the size of a prototypical power forward but he sure plays that kind of style. What would the Senators be willing to give up in return that could entice the Rangers? I'd love for it to be Bobby Ryan, but that's a pipedream. Jason Spezza's contract expires at the end of next season and is a name that has been lightly tossed around the rumor mill. He's captain of the Senators (then again, we're talking about Callahan here) and he has a No-Trade Clause, but stranger things have happened. His combination of skill and size certainly fits the mold. Esiason ruled out Chris Neil, and it's pathetic that he's had to answer that considering Neil in no way addresses offense or has "skill."
I know, it feels gross. But Eric Lindros happened. That line has already been crossed. Ed Snider and Paul Holmgren are a curious bunch and they seem to build teams with no sense of direction. They spontaneously traded Mike Richards and Jeff Carter so they could sign and then buyout Ilya Bryzgalov. They traded Bobrovsky and then later acquired Bobrovsky's backupm, then signed him to a big contract after a couple good months. Who knows what they're thinking? Scott Hartnell is one who fit the mold of gritty forwards with ample offense as well. He has been speculated about as well in regards to potential trades. Simmondsmight make sense but Esiason ruled that one out. Seeing Callahan in a Flyers jersey would suck, but Sather doesn't care if that would hurt your feelings. He's got a team to run.
The fanbase is quickly turning against Capitals GM George McPhee, and another disappointing season could mean a management change. McPhee surely feels some pressure to deliver some results this season, so a trade for a player like Callahan could make sense. As for what the Capitals have to offer? Please not Erat. Please not Erat. Please not Erat...
Yeah, he ruled out Erat.
Not much to dissect here. Boston is a contender. Callahan would fit into Claude Julien's style of play for sure. There's your potential fit. Brad Marchand had been the source of trade speculation earlier this season and fulfills the grit and offense parameters. I'd absolutely love that kind of swap, but I really don't think Boston would consider moving a 25-year-old under contract for a few years who is putting up better stats than Callahan as is. Chris Kelly would be a rather undewhelming return. Lucic or Bergeon isn't happening, so forget it.
Especially with Pascal Dupuis out for the season, the Penguins are desperate for a winger to put next to Crosby. I don't see any realistic return that fits the bill here, though. Neal would be nice, but negates the purpose of acquiring Callahan in the first place. Same with Kunitz. Beau Bennett is intriguing, but a bit on the raw side and would require much more coming from Pittsburgh.
I don't know, guys. I don't feel like this narrowed it down at all. The most logical trades involve either the Blues or the Kings, but both are Western Conference teams. I think we can safely rule out the Islanders and Devils. Esiason pretty much ruled out Buffalo. I also heavily doubt that a rebuilding Florida would give up anything for Callahan. Aside from that, I don't think any remaining team acquiring Callahan would surprise me. The only promise I can make is that the trading deadline is March 5th at 3pm EST, and that the noise is only going to get progressively and restlessly louder with trade winds on Callahan and Girardi turning into tornados until moves are made, contracts or signed, or the deadline passes altogether. We might not have to wait long on at least one of these guys, however. Esiason assumes an announcement could be coming "very quickly."
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As much as I like and admire St.Louis, I would rather have Callahan. Marty is a great player, but he is not what we need. We need to get bigger and younger. Can you picture St. Louis, Zuccarello, Hagelin, along with our three centers (Stepan, Richards, and Brassard, who play small)? Boston, Philadelphia and most everyone else will crush us. I would also rather trade Callahan to the Blues for Sterwart,as previously rumored.
O h my ...watch out for a Spezza(#1center) in N Y w/Nash....I like the sound of Spezza + Neal for Cally-J T Miller +Boyle ? draft picks ahl palyers....
I Like the thought of this...will enjoy the chance over a cup of coffee
I can dream cant i...........................
I am thrilled to hear the caliber of names involved in a cally deal...Boomer knows and i love the scenario painted..But ...my pro guess is Ottawa ...Neal ...we need toughness ,we really need a #1 center (see Stastny colo.) BUT
only 1 will go..... G man is new capt. after cally is traded ...
Neal fills the only hole other than the #1 center ...we need more than Dorsett-Carcillo (looks alot smaller a ranger?)? Klein is a toughie BUT need guys who are skilled agitators..relentless type to protect as well
who knows still time to pull off the biggie and get the # 1 center ...got lots to offer to make that happen
if hes talking about re-uniting then how bout staal going to carolina for skinner? i wouldnt want to do that but it makes sense
http://nypost.com/2014/02/23/no-traction-on-st-louis-rangers-plan-to-deal-callahan-sources/ bye bye St. Louis. Marty marty is not him. Who else?
Oh man, this would be yet another worlds "I told you so" but I hope I'm wrong as I've been posting for quite some time that Cally's not coming back. He's been huge for this team but simply not worth the asking price. To get any return for him would mean the other team would feel they have a great chance of signing him so maybe we could narrow this down by examining who's got big bucks to pay. Hmmm IDK - but I'm going with the Ottawa theory. that feels like the most likely to me, though I would love to see a Bruins for Marchand deal, but if Boomer says Ranger fans won't like it at first than that one is out. Jeez, IDK...
Has Plekanec been turned down as an option? Started in 03-04, played in Sochi, in the east, outside the division, not what I would call gritty but defensibly responsible and will forecheck, has skill and "enough points", contract ends after next season so it's short term, respectable player. Just a thought.
There is no player that fits all of the criteria that is spouted, so I'll stick with JVR from Toronto, or Brandon Dubinsky as a wild card. I can live with either one.
OK, I'm back after 7 hours and have thrown up 3 times since this rumor started and I see we got nowhere, if not backwards. Boomer is an asshole for bringing this up. Give us his initials already. Is he going to go through every player in the eastern conference saying "its not...... and its not.....WTF! Just tell us already!!!
anyone else maybe think we are looking at this situation all wrong....maybe callahan is getting traded for someone with a less cap hit...that way we have more cap room to go after someone from any team not making a cup run ...which means we could acquire anyone
i think its going to be callahan to carolina for ruutu...he has grit and skill and 16 points this year...maybe thats considered "enough"
did a quick search...and narrowed down...out of team usa, team canada, and team sweden...of the players that are in the eastern conference, and played their first nhl game in 2003-2004ish season... are Bergeron and Kunitz...team russia i got alexander semin.....otherwise ovie and malkin were 04 draft but didn't play until 05-06 season....and boomer prettymmuch shot all of these guys down...except semin i think
Really? ...or are you just having fun?
@NYR44 cool...I guess the Backes relationship sold it in Sochi...
I like Stewart...nice to see they have options ,didnt think Cally's value was this ...took for granted a little but...style + age + lenght of deal makes this DONE!
I am starting to think that if the trading partner is really in the conference then Ottawa makes sense. Neal also makes sense, but as you point out it has to be larger than just Neal.
@Medvjed004 stastny to N Y for both + pick ...in a heart beat
@BRING BACK DUBI What a weird topic this is.... why doesn't Boomer just come out and say it? Either keep quiet or tell us... we are not all in fifth grade!!!!
I seriously wanna throw my computer in the wall. Can't sleep and have to wake up in 5 1/2 hours. This is some bs
@PacNYR44 When is his show and where can I listen/watch?
if boomer jumps off a bridge are we going to jump also
@PacNYR44 is this "trade" supposed to go down tonight
didn't start the nhl in 2004
@PacNYR44 Boomer said it's not Ruutu
other olympians that played their first nhl game in 04 is Tuomo Ruutu, zidlicky, and michalek .....i think thats all of this years olympians that started their nhl in 04
grit?? and he said no to erat already
@Medvjed004 heres a doozie....cally + g man + J T miller for ......... Ottawa,s Spezza + Neal
im going to sleep what ever happens happens