Tampa Bay Lightning and Ryan Callahan Continue Contract Talks


Apr 18, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Tampa Bay Lightning right wing

Ryan Callahan

(24) skates against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period in game two of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Tampa Bay Times Forum. Montreal Canadiens defeated the Tampa Bay Lightning 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Tampa Bay Lightning and Ryan Callahan are still discussing a potential contract extension that would keep the forward in Tampa for the long haul.

However, Joe Smith of the Tampa Bay Times reports that nothing is imminent.

The Lightning have until July 1 to get Callahan signed to a new deal otherwise he will reach unrestricted free agency where the Bolts will have to compete with other teams vying for his services.

Callahan was acquired in the trade that sent Martin St. Louis to the New York Rangers at the trade deadline earlier this year.

Since his arrival in Tampa, Callahan has proven to be a vital part of Jon Cooper’s line-up. He had six goals and five assists in 20 regular season games but was held pointless as the Bolts were swept out of the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

But further to that, Callahan was a physical, dominant presence on the ice, something the Lightning lack up front as their forwards are predominantly fast, highly-skilled players.

The 29-year-old has said he likes the Tampa area and is open to staying but it appears as though he may test free agency.

Cooper has said himself that as long as he is coach of the Lightning, he wants Callahan on his team.

In eight NHL seasons, Callahan has 265 points (127 goals) in 470 games. However, he has never played a full 82-game season as he has dealt with injuries throughout his career.

Before the Lightning acquired Callahan, the Rangers had tried to re-sign their then captain. However, they couldn’t agree on a deal, which is why Callahan was shipped to Tampa.

Callahan was reportedly seeking a six-year, $39 million deal with New York and it’s unclear if that’s what he’ll seek on the open market or in negotiations with the Lightning.