NEW YORK -- While the negotiations between Ryan Callahan and the New York Rangers are at a stalemate, making it appear increasingly likely that the 28-year-old captain may be traded, there has at least been consistent communication between the club and Dan Girardi's camp on forging a new agreement for the pending unrestricted free agent.
The Rangers and Girardi’s camp have been in discussions over the past week and a half, Girardi’s agent confirmed to ESPNNewYork.com Thursday afternoon, and the lines of communication remain open.
Though Meehan said it is “still too early to tell” whether the two sides can bridge the gap on an extension for the 29-year-old defenseman before next week’s March 5 trade deadline, he remains optimistic with the two sides still talking.
Girardi is reportedly seeking a six-year deal worth $5.5 million, which is considered a pretty sound market-value deal. It is not believed the two sides are significantly far apart, though Girardi could be one of the most attractive rental players on the market and fetch an enticing return for the Blueshirts if they decide to move him.
This trade deadline is already proving to be full of intrigue and plot twists with the Callahan saga taking yet another turn amid reports that GM Glen Sather is interested in a captain-swap with Tampa Bay that would bring veteran Martin St. Louis to New York.
St. Louis addressed the reports that he asked for a trade out of Tampa Bay Wednesday, when he confirmed to meeting with GM Steve Yzerman but declined to elaborate further. And in another surprising development, news broke Wednesday night that Vancouver Canucks center Ryan Kesler has asked out of Vancouver, though his agent denies that report.
Sather will have some interesting decisions to make in the week ahead, though he seems committed to dealing either Callahan, Girardi -- or both -- if he cannot get them under contract before the deadline, rather than seeing them walk as free agents for nothing come July.
Lots of moving parts at play. Stay tuned ...