Girardi deal done, focus now on Callahan

With the Dan Girardi deal done, attention will now fixate squarely and solely on the developing situation with Rangers captain Ryan Callahan.

Will he stay or will he go?

Whereas the Rangers and Girardi’s Newport Sports reps had frequent communication during the Olympic break and over the past week, that sort of dialogue has been largely missing from the team’s negotiations with Callahan.

Callahan’s agent, Steve Bartlett, told ESPNNewYork.com earlier this week that the two sides had no communication during the entire Olympic break, and though they have since resumed discussions over the past few days, there appears to be little to no appreciable progress.

“We have been talking but not much to report besides that,” Bartlett told ESPNNewYork.com via email Friday afternoon.

Maybe that changes now that GM Glen Sather has locked up Girardi long term and can devote his full attention to Callahan, but the gap seems much more difficult to bridge with the latter.

Girardi received a deal in line with what he was asking: six years, $33 million (with a full no-move clause in the first three years and a modified no-trade clause in the final three years), but there is a significant divide in what Callahan is reportedly seeking (seven years with an annual average value upward of $7 million) and what the Rangers have reportedly offered (five years, $30 million).

The Rangers and Callahan’s camp have less than five days to forge a deal, and Sather is expected to shop him aggressively if the impasse continues.

Prior to the Olympic break Callahan was one of the most buzz-worthy names on the trade market, joining other top rental players like Thomas Vanek and goaltender Ryan Miller, but the landscape has shifted a bit in light of some interesting developments during the past week.

A report surfaced last week that veteran Lightning captain Martin St. Louis requested a trade after his initial Olympic snub last month and the Rangers are believed to have interest in the reigning Art Ross Trophy winner, with one report even suggesting that the Blueshirts are the only team to which St. Louis will waive his no-move clause.

In other news, Canucks forward Ryan Kesler is reportedly seeking out of Vancouver. If true, the talented two-way center could be the most coveted player next Wednesday.

One other factor to consider with Callahan in light of the Girardi news: The two players, who have played together since their junior days in Guelph, Ontario, are also very good friends and their families are close.

Could Girardi staying put sway Callahan to stay as well?

We’ll see. Should be an interesting five days ahead.