The Olympic break hasn’t changed Ryan Callahan’s thinking. The unrestricted free agent-to-be wants to be a Ranger for a long time. “It’s the same as when I left: This is where I want to be,” the Rangers captain said Tuesday at the MSG Training Center in Greenburgh, where he rejoined his teammates after playing with Team USA at the Winter Olympics in Sochi. “I’m going to control what I can control, and that mainly is what I do on the ice, and that’s not going to change.” Despite the swirling trade rumors a week before next Wednesday’s deadline surrounding Callahan and top defenseman Dan Girardi, also scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent July 1, Callahan said it hasn’t affected him, nor will it. “I think I’m in a good spot,” said the gritty lifelong Ranger, who has 11 goals and 13 assists for 24 points in 43 games. “My [mind-set] coming back into here is just continue to try to do what I can to help the team win.” A TSN report on Tuesday went so far as to say there is a “99 percent chance” Callahan will be traded, offering no further details. The Blues and Lightning have been mentioned as the most prominent suitors. In the meantime, the unresolved situation between now and next Wednesday is creating “somewhat of a distraction,” Rangers coach Alain Vigneault admitted, because of how important Girardi and Callahan are. The Post reported on Monday general manager Glen Sather prefers dealing the pair rather than seeing them leave without compensation as free agents come July. Negotiations haven’t gone very far with either player, the sides still significantly apart in both cases. “I really don’t want to think about stuff life that,” alternate captain Marc Staal said. “As soon as we get by [the trade deadline], the quicker the better in the room. Hopefully, [Callahan] stays. We want him and [Girardi] and everyone else around in our room. We’ve been playing great the last month [before the Olympics].” Indeed, the Rangers got hot prior to the Olympic break, rising to second in the Metropolitan Division behind the first-place Penguins thanks to an 8-3-1 mark in their past 12 games.
Callahan wants to stay with Rangers, but won’t be distracted
New York Post | Feb 26