Ryan Callahan re-signs with Lightning for another six seasons

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Ryan Callahan had 11 points in 20 games for Tampa Bay. (Getty Images)
Ryan Callahan had 11 points in 20 games for Tampa Bay. (Getty Images)

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After the Lightning acquired Ryan Callahan from the Rangers in the Martin St. Louis deal, one big question was whether or not they could re-sign him in Tampa Bay. The answer is yes.

The Lightning announced Wednesday they have signed the former Rangers captain to a six-year contract extension to ensure he won't be just a rental. According to Pierre LeBrun, the contract carries a value of $34.8 million, or $5.8 million annually.

"I couldn't be happier to be part of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization for the next six years and I am excited for this new chapter of my career," Callahan said. "Tampa Bay has been a great place to live and play from the day I got there. As soon as the season ended I knew it was a place I wanted to be."

And why wouldn't he? The future is incredibly bright right now in Tampa Bay where they are simply stocked with high-end young talent to the point that Callahan is already a senior member of the team at 29.

Callahan, who had a career high of 29 goals in 2011-12, was having a much slower start in terms of offense last season in New York and was also seeing his role dip under Alain Vigneault. When it became clear he'd want more money than the Rangers could pay him, the trade for Martin St. Louis -- who had asked out of Tampa -- was made, a captain-for-captain swap.

Here's how the deal looks now that every part is complete.

In the aftermath of the deal, Callahan scored six goals and five assists in 20 games for Tampa Bay, going above the 20-minute mark of ice time per game again. There definitely seemed to be a good fit for both sides.

It didn't always look like a deal would be reached, though. Callahan seemed at least intrigued by free agency and was looking for a fair amount of money, as you can see in the end what he received. Perhaps he could have earned a bit more in free agency but clearly it's a good situation in Tampa Bay moving forward.

 
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