Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

New York Islanders Should Sign Ryan Callahan

The New York Islanders have already started what should be an aggressive offseason by trading a 4th round pick to the Capitals for negotiating rights to goalie Jaroslav Halak, who is currently unsigned. If the Islanders sign Halak to a deal that would cross major need off their off-season list.

Another need the Islanders have is a top-six winger. One option the Islanders should really consider is signing Tampa Bay Lightning winger Ryan Callahan. Many know Callahan for his tenure with the New York Rangers where he was a captain for a few years, before being traded to the Lightning in exchange for Martin St. Louis at this year’s trading deadline. Callahan will be an unrestricted free agent this summer and here are a few reasons why the New York Islanders should look at him:

  1. Leadership and Experience: As I mentioned above, Callahan was the Rangers’ captain for a few seasons and was excellent in that role. Callahan would bring leadership to a young Islanders team. Every shift that Callahan plays he sacrifices his body and blocks a ton of shots. Although people say Callahan is injury prone, many of his injuries have occurred while he was sacrificing his body and doing dirty work along the boards. Callahan has also been in the playoffs a total of 6 times in his career, along with being in the Olympics 2 times for team USA.
  2. Penalty Killing: Callahan has been an excellent penalty killer throughout his career, which is an intangible that should intrigue the Islanders.  Callahan is always good at dumping the puck into the corners, chasing it, and then keeping his man pinned against the boards to waste time. The Islanders had the 29th ranked penalty kill, and the Rangers had the 3rd ranked penalty kill, in large part due to Callahan, who significantly helped them in his half a year with the team. The Islanders would have three very good penalty killers in Casey Cizikas, Michael Grabner, and Ryan Callahan, which should help them improve their penalty killing ranking.
  3. Familiarity with Division: Ryan Callahan has been in the New York Islanders’ division for a long time. The division is filled with physical teams such as the Rangers, Penguins, and Flyers so having a leader who has a lot of experience playing against these teams would be a big help.

Callahan would be an excellent fit for the Islanders but only if the price is right. Before he was dealt, he was asking the Rangers for around $6.5 million a year. This would be way too much for the Islanders to pay as they have too many other holes that need to be filled. If the Islanders can get Callahan’s price to to about $4 million for four years, his signing should be a no-brainer for General Manager Garth Snow. Callahan’s leadership would be invaluable to a young team like the Islanders, and at 29 years old, he puts up a decent amount of points. Callahan plays with a ton of heart and soul which the New York Islanders can use this upcoming season.


Tags: Garth Snow New York Islanders Ryan Callahan

  • FitzWilly

    i concur
    i’m all for that signing

  • Darren Breton

    Cally wants too much money considering how injury prone he is. 4 million a year…lol….Rags offered him 6 and he said no. Too expensive. Concentrate on Halak signing and ELC contracts for our future. Nobody seems to mention Ville Pokka and Snows need to sign him to ElC. The fact that Loic Leduc was signed before Pokka is a f….g joke. Sign Pokka to his ELC Snow Blind, or you’ll regret it.

  • marc1978

    As a Rangers fan, who is still pissed they got rid of their captain, this article was pretty good, but a couple of things, you mention the PK, but forgot about the PP, he is one of the best in the league on both of those special teams. People wonder why Rangers special teams are struggling now. Which can hurt them once they start playing the big boys.

    Also, To offer him 4 Million is an insult. Since he is making over 4 Million now. TSN and other sports critics say his worth is around 5.5 to 5.7 Million a year. Islanders will have to offer at least 6 Million, and a NTC/NMC some job security.

    For a chance to come back to the NY area and play with Taveras, I think it would be very tempting for Callahan. Remember the guy wants to win, and people assume he wants to go to Buffalo, but not with a team with no chance of winning anytime soon. Islanders are not too far from being a playoff team again. So the Islanders could be in the mix.

  • joseph swan

    Callahan is worth 6.5 a season with all he has to offer. I don’t think he will take a pay cut to go to a non playoff team. Offer the money and that would be a great addition to the islanders.

  • Brandon Cohen

    Are you actually suggesting there’s even a 0.0000000000000000000000000000000000000001% chance Callahan signs for four years $4 mil per year? Is that actually happening? Is this real?

  • Jolly

    I’m a die hard isles fan and I like Ryan Callahan but there is little chance we sig. It’s not cause we don’t have appeal it’s wang won’t pay anybody

  • joseph swan

    There aren’t money restrictions on Garth Snow he can spend as much as he needs to improve the team. Besides they need to add talent if you are going to attract fans to the Barkley Center in 2015.

    I for see a new majority owner of the Islanders before the season, as Wang wants to sell .

  • joseph swan

    Sign Halak, Johnson, Callahan, and a good defenseman along with what they have already almond the Islanders might just be a surprise everyone and make the playoffs