32-Year-Old Right Wing – Tampa Bay Lightning
Ryan Callahan Contract Information:
Re-signed with the Lightning on a six-year, $34.8 million contract in June of 2014.
Callahan unloaded four empty shots along with five hits in Thursday's 2-1 shootout loss to the Canadiens, recording 11:44 of ice time in the process.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
Callahan is out until late November after undergoing surgery in June to repair a labral tear in right hip. His game is already on the decline Ė he just couldn't keep up last season and slipped into the team's bottom six where he delivered just 28 points after draining 54 the season before. But moreover, Callahan's body is seriously breaking down. He averaged more than 260 hits a season between 2008-09 and 2011-12, and the human body can only take so much. Tampa is a fast team; Callahan is not. And while he's a decent possession player and a solid presence in the dressing room, Callahan just isn't worth $5 million a season, especially as a bottom-six winger. Something needs to give this year Ė his no-move clause means the Bolts will be forced to protect him in the Vegas expansion draft. And that means they won't be able to protect younger, better players like Tyler Johnson, Vladimir Namestnikov or even Jonathan Drouin. We have to wonder if a buy-out would have been considered if that surgery hadn't happened. Avoid him on draft day and don't bother with a wire grab until you know he can keep up once he returns.
Callahan is only 30, but there are a lot of miles on those years. Like an F150, he still looks good on the outside. But underneath, youíll find the sagging springs and sketchy tranny of a vehicle thatís been used to haul construction materials every day of its life. Heís coming off a fantastic year offensively Ė he tied his career mark in points (54). But his shooting percentage was too far above his career average, and his hits Ė the bread and butter of his multi-category value Ė were dramatically less than normal. Put those together with a drop-off in output in the second half, courtesy of the emergence of the Triplet Line, and an increased risk of physical breakdown, and youíve got a guy on the precipice of decline. The Triplets arenít going anywhere, and youth will continue to be served in Tampa. Cally will deliver more leadership than fantasy value, so let someone else take the bait.
Callahan bled Rangers' blue for years, but he found a new home in Tampa Bay in a deadline deal last season that sent Martin St. Louis to Madison Square Garden. He loved it so much in St. Pete that he stayed; Callahan inked a six-year, $34.8 million deal in June and will provide veteran leadership and secondary scoring for a emerging Bolts squad. He is particularly effective on the power play, so expect solid output there. Just don't overestimate his overall output -- he is likely a 20-goal, 50-point winger in 2014-2015.
The Rangers were 14-6-2 during the regular season when Callahan registered at least one point, will continue to count on his fiery leadership for a spark. Despite his rough and tumble style of play, which forced him to miss time (eventually leading to offseason surgery to repair a torn labrum in his shoulder), Callahan has given the Rangers a consistent increase in point production over the past three seasons and is likely to continue that trend if he can stay healthy. Look for him to get selected in the mid-to-late rounds. He's worth a roster spot in all formats, especially if he continues to line up with budding center Derek Stepan.
Callahan is a player whose fantasy prospects are on the rise after setting a career-high in goals (29) and matching a career-high in assists (25) last season. The Blueshirts' captain is still only 27-years old and will see plenty of time on the power play in 2012-13 as he serves on the second line with Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin. Callahan should provide great mid-round value as he has a very real shot at topping the 30-goal plateau with Hagelin and Stepan continuing to mature their games. In leagues that reward secondary statistics such as blocked shots, plus-minus and hits, Callahan will reward owners handsomely, as he produces across the board in those categories.
Callahan set career-highs in goals (23), assists (25), power-play goals (10) and shorthanded points (7) and he did so despite missing 22 games to injuries, last season. Widely considered the most likely skater to inherit the captaincy role from former Ranger Chris Drury, Callahan plays with a reckless abandon, which feeds his effectiveness. However, being a smaller player does inflate his risk of injury, especially considering he was injured twice last season while blocking shots. Callahan is a solid depth player worth a mid-to-late draft pick in standard fantasy leagues and should push the 55-60 point mark in 2011-12. Where he really shines is in pools that are deep on secondary categories like hits, blocks, and shorthanded points.
Callahan regressed a little after scoring a career-high 22 goals two seasons ago. The gritty forward tallied just 19 goals and 37 points last year and took a major step back in the plus/minus category, finishing the season with a minus-12 rating. Almost half of Calliís goals came with the man advantage, as he ranked second on the team to Marian Gaborik with nine power play goals. Callahanís power play time might decrease a bit this upcoming season due to the arrival of Alex Frolov in New York, which makes the 24-year-old forward even less valuable in fantasy leagues. One thing Callahan has proved in his short NHL career is that he loves to shoot the puck. Two seasons ago he fired 237 shots on goal and last year he put up 204. Anticipate the shots to remain above 200, but donít expect Callahan to exceed 25 goals and 45 points. He did not require offseason surgery on his injured knee, and should be fine come training camp.
Callahan played in 81 games last year for the Rangers and flashed enough potential to get a major pay boost from the Rangers this offseason. With 22 goals and 18 assists, Callahan doesn't scream fantasy gold, but his production is expected to see a big boost with coach John Tortorella in town for a full season.
Callahan had eight goals and 13 points in 52 games for the Rangers last season. Byers is a good prospect who really needs to get his scoring working, so he'll have to polish off his offense in the AHL while the Rangers go with some other youngsters in the meantime to fill out their forward lines.
The coaching staff loves his grit and determination, and projects him as a top line forward at some point of his career. Until then, heíll start the season on the teamís third line, and will log power play minutes along with time on the penalty kill. Pay close attention to injury reports on this Blueshirt team, if anyone on the top lines were to get hurt, Callahan could be one of the first to get that call. Callahan was Hartford's (AHL) second leading scorer with 35 goals and 20 assists for 55 points in 60 games.