Updated 06:30 AM EDT, Thu, Jun 04, 2020

NHL Trade Rumors 2014: NY Rangers Trade Captain Ryan Callahan to Tampa Bay Lightning for Martin St. Louis

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With the 2014 Winter Olympics now a distant memory, the National Hockey League (NHL) returned to business with the roster freeze lifted after the Sochi Games and the March 5 trade deadline on the horizon.

After weeks of speculation, the New York Rangers finally pulled the trigger on a deal and sent their team captain, F Ryan Callahan, to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for their captain, LW Martin St. Louis, and a conditional draft pick. Tampa also receives a pair of draft picks—with their 2014 second-round pick that the Rangers gave them turning into a first-round pick should New York make the Eastern Conference Finals.

Rangers general manager Glen Sather had put Callahan on the trade market after the two sides could not compromise on a contract extension and Callahan facing free agency in July. The Lighnting had shown interest in risking a trade for Callahan when St. Louis demanded a trade from Tampa Bay after his relationship with team general manager Steve Yzerman had soured. Yzerman, who also served as the Executive Director for the Canadian men's hockey team, left St. Louis off the Sochi Olympic roster, with their situation failing to improve even after St. Louis was promoted to Canada's main roster. The veteran left winger demanded a trade to New York, using his no-trade clause as leverage.

"We'd like to thank Marty for everything he has done on and off the ice during his outstanding 13-year career in Tampa Bay," said Yzerman in a press release. "He has been one of the greatest players in the organization's history but in the end we honored his request today. We wish him and his family the best of luck as he continues his career in New York."

St. Louis, the current Art Ross Trophy winner (awarded to the player who scored the most points for the season), won a Stanley Cup in 2004 alongside Ranger C Brad Richards as members of the Lightning, and has scored 29 goals and 32 assists in 62 games this season. While the Rangers wanted to keep Callahan, who has 11 goals and 14 assists for New York, both sides had too much distance on a potential contract extension to keep the forward playing in Madison Square Garden.

ESPN reports that Callahan wanted a six-year deal worth between $6.25 million and $6.5 million with the Rangers countering with a six-year deal worth $6.0 million per year. While the sides were close, the Rangers decided to go in a different direction with the Wednesday 3 p.m. trade line approaching quickly.

The Rangers trade comes on the heels of re-signing D Dan Girardi to a new deal. Girardi, who was also seeking a contract extension with free agency pending, was on the trade block before signing a new six-year deal worth $33 million.

"Dan has been a Ranger for his entire career, signing with us as an undrafted free agent and working his way to become a top defenseman in the NHL," said Sather in a statement. "His dedication to this club, as a leader both on the ice and in the locker room, is invaluable to this team. We are happy to have been able to ensure that he will continue to wear the Blueshirt."

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