Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Rumor: Arbitration Could Cost Callahan Captaincy?

The commonly held belief is that Ryan Callahan is destined to be the New York Rangers’ next captain.  However, Larry Brooks of the New York Post believes that if Callahan and the Rangers cannot come to terms on a long-term contract and have to resort to using Thursday’s scheduled arbitration hearing, then Callahan will not be named be named captain this year.  Brooks says that the favorite for the 'C' would then become Brad Richards, but in that scenario Marc Staal should be the guy who gets it, not Richards.  Giving it to Staal would help to calm the waters of an angry fan base, but it would not erase how bad it would be received by the fan base.

In terms of Callahan, it would be unlikely to see coach John Tortorella name a player who could not come to terms on a long-term deal to stay with the club the captaincy, but with Callahan he might still do it.  This is likely the only scenario in which Callahan does not have the ‘C’ put on his sweater for the 2011-12 season, but since he will get a deal done before the hearing on Thursday it is not one to worry about.

What worries me more is the kind of numbers that Brooks thinks Callahan will get paid either in arbitration or on a long-term contract:
Callahan, who recorded 48 points (23-25) in 60 games while establishing career highs in goals, assists and points, will likely come in somewhere between $4.5M and $4.75M on a multi-year deal, though he all but certainly would command more on the open market next July.'
If the parties cannot agree on a long-term deal and Callahan goes through with the hearing for what would automatically be a one-year contract given his status as an impending free agent, he would likely get somewhere around $4.2 million.
As I wrote yesterday in discussing what Ryan Callahan is worth to the Rangers, the market may give him those numbers, but that does not mean he is actually worth that kind of salary.  Check out the link to see why I think paying Callahan that kind of money could be a mistake while many others are willing to give it to him without any reservations. As always, feel free to disagree.