Although the “Olympic trade freeze” is now in effect in the NHL until the 23rd February 2014, many trade rumors will still go on as this time is excellent for general managers to continue negotiations. We look at what the Rangers may be up to and what’s in store with Colorado leading to the trade deadline of March 5th.
Sather must make a decision: Dan Girardi or Ryan Callahan
It’s obvious Glen Sather will need to make a decision concerning his two unrestricted free agents. He will need to get a contract signed up with both prior to the trade deadline of March 5th or risk losing both assets during the off-season. Sather can always come up with an agreement between the season’s end and July 1st, when the free agency season starts.
In the case of Callahan, Sather must sign his captain. He plays with heart every game and love s to play in New York. This year Callahan has cumulated 24 points in 42 games for the Blue Shirts. Now with Team USA in Sochi, Callahan brings grit to his game despite his size at 5’11 and 190lbs. Negotiations between Callahan’s agent, Steve Bartlett and the Rangers management staff have broken down last week when neither side could agree to a deal labeled as: 6.5 to 7 million for a duration of seven years. Bartlett has expressed the desire to continue negotiations during the NHL Olympic break with Sather but nothing has been scheduled so far.
As for defenseman Dan Girardi, the issue is very similar. Girardi will be an unrestricted free agent and is looking for a long term deal. At 29 years-old, Girardi has been one of the Rangers top defenseman with Ryan McDonaugh. The Welland, Ontario native has played 59 games and has totaled 17 points with a plus -2 rating. Girardi is looking for five-year contract in the range of 5 million plus a season. Girardi’s negotiations with the Rangers have toned down lately and like Callahan, if a deal is not reached soon, Girardi will be offered to other teams after the trade freeze.
Teams on the lookout for Ryan Callahan where apparently an offer was made by the St-Louis Blues involving Chris Stewart and a prospect is known to be on the table. Also the Blue Jackets are very interested in Callahan should he become available. Dan Girardi may be a target of interest for the Bruins who are looking for a defenseman which may be unlikely since they are in the same conference, the San Jose Sharks to help Dan Boyle, and even the Ottawa Senators.
What are the Colorado needs?
With the Colorado Avalanche sitting in third place of the Central Division and a record of 37 wins, 16 losses and 5 overtime losses, Patrick Roy’s roster looks like they don’t have any needs at this point prior to the trade deadline. Colorado is playing sound defense because of Roy’s system and the players are buying into it. They have offense with Matt Duchesne, Gabriel Landeskog and rookie Nathan McKinnon leading the way.
Colorado may be in to get some defense help. Andre Benoit, Tyson Barrie and Erik Johnson lead the way but a top-four defenseman such as New York Islanders Andrew McDonald who can log many minutes and be effective on their power play may be the defenseman they are looking for. Other notables who could be wearing the Avs jersey come March 5th are: Dan Girardi from the Rangers or a Chris Phillips from the Senators.
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