It might be difficult for NHL general managers to surpass the magnitude of Tuesday’s trade-deadline-eve moves as the clock moves toward Wednesday’s noon PST deadline, but plenty of discussions are believed to be going on and at least one significant deal has been made.
The New York Rangers, unable to come to terms with team captain Ryan Callahan as he nears the end of his contract, traded him plus a 2015 first-round draft pick and a conditional 2014 second-round pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning for defending NHL scoring champion Martin St. Louis. If the Rangers reach the Eastern Conference final this year, the 2014 pick will become a first-rounder.
If Callahan, a heart-and-soul-type player valued for his leadership over his offensive output, should re-sign with Tampa Bay, the Rangers would get a second-round pick in 2015 from Tampa Bay and the Lightning will get the Rangers’ seventh-round pick in 2015.
The Kings have had ongoing discussions with the Columbus Blue Jackets regarding winger Marian Gaborik, but no deal had been finalized as of 9:40 a.m. The Ducks, who traded Dustin Penner and Viktor Fasth on Tuesday in separate deals and acquired Stephane Robidas, cleared enough cap space to make a major acquisition but it’s unclear if they’re willing to offer enough to get Vancouver center Ryan Kesler or if they have their sights set elsewhere.
The trade of St. Louis to the Rangers was a stunner. Tension grew between him and Tampa Bay General Manager Steve Yzerman when Yzerman, who was the executive director of the Canadian Olympic hockey team for the Sochi Games, did not select St. Louis for the original roster. St. Louis was later added to the team but his relationship with Yzerman was damaged.
St. Louis, who was undrafted out of college but has had an exceptional career, led the Lightning this season with 29 goals and 61 points. The Rangers were trying to get him to New York in time for their game Wednesday night against Toronto.
Callahan, had 11 goals and 25 points in 45 games with the Rangers this season.
“The Lightning are very excited to have Ryan Callahan join the organization and help us in our quest to make the playoffs,” Yzerman said in a statement released by the Lightning. “Ryan is an outstanding player and leader who we look forward to seeing on the ice tomorrow night.”
“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. 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.”
Another player rumored to have been on the market, Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips, instead re-signed with the Senators for $5 million over two years. The Senators acquired Edmonton Oilers winger Ales Hemsky for a third-round pick in 2014 and a fifth-round pick in 2015. The Oilers will retain half of Hemsky’s remaining salary this season.
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