TSN Hockey Insiders Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger have the latest on why the New York Rangers may trade Ryan Callahan, Thomas Vanek's future after the winger rejected a long-term extension from the New York Islanders, and if the Raphael Diaz trade means another Vancouver Canucks defenceman is on the way out.
Ryan Callahan trade talks caught a lot of people off guard. Details are now emerging about why the Rangers would consider such a move.
Darren Dreger: He wants a lot of money. It's been widely reported that Callahan is looking for a seven-year term around $6 million per year. That is not accurate. I'm told that it is more than $6.5 million but less than $7 million per year on a seven-year term.
Whether it's $6 million per year or, as we know now, closer to $7 million, that's a lot of money; too much for the Rangers. There's not a lot of wiggle room in this negotiation and that's why Glen Sather is considering and working towards moving his captain.
It seems like a pressing issue. What are the chances Callahan gets either signed or traded before this Friday's Olympic roster freeze?
Dreger: 50/50. I know that's an easy guess to make but I would say it's more unlikely to get done because there is a willingness to push this as far as you can. But in the meantime the Rangers also need to get as much in return as possible for Callahan. The Chris Stewart deal with the St. Louis Blues is still there; Stewart would be a part of that.
The Rangers also have to pay attention to what's going on with Dan Girardi. If he doesn't come to terms this week with the Rangers and avoid potential of unrestricted free agency, perhaps that sends a message to Sather that he's going to unrestricted free agency and he then joins Callahan in the trade speculation.
Sounds more and more like New York Islanders' forward Thomas Vanek wants to be an unrestricted free agent this summer. What does that mean for potential deals?
Bob McKenzie: You're right. News broke on Monday morning that Vanek rejected a verbal offer from the Islanders; a lucrative, long-term deal. The implication of course being that now he's going to get unrestricted free agency. He wants to at least test the market and see what's out there. So the Islanders are looking at trade scenarios for Vanek between now and the March 5 trade deadline. GM Garth Snow will continue to try and sign Vanek; try and sweeten the pot and push to get something done, but by the same token, he's on a track where he's talking to teams and finding out what he's going to get.
The Los Angeles Kings and Pittsburgh Penguins are amongst those teams that would be interested in getting a scoring winger, a rental at the deadline. Pittsburgh has some cap issues, but Vanek's exactly what the doctor's ordered for a lot of contending teams.
McKenzie: Everybody assumes that this is the precursor to moving one of their veteran defencemen; getting Alex Edler to waive his no-trade clause or what have you. I don't believe there's any relation to the Diaz trade and making another move. Right now you have Kevin Bieksa, Chris Tanev, and Yannick Weber all battling injury. In my opinion, getting Diaz is nothing more than taking a fourth-line grinder with limited ability in Weise, and sending him to the Canadiens for a puck-moving defenceman who had fallen out of favour. I think this is about the here and now. That's not to say the Canucks won't make a trade down the road, but I think this move is self-explanatory.
David Legwand is a lifelong Nashville Predator with 951 career games, might he move?
McKenzie: The Predators are shopping Legwand hard. The price is expected to be a first- or second-round pick but keep in mind he has a full no-move clause and he will decide whether or not he wants to be a rental or whether he wants to play out the string with Nashville.