Should The Buffalo Sabres Sign Ryan Callahan?

The NHL free agent period begins in less than a month, and one of the players who may be on the market is Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan. Callahan, a former member of the NY Rangers, is 29 years old and is wrapping up a three-year deal signed back in 2011. This past season, he made $4.825 million with a cap hit of $4.275 million.

The former NY Rangers captain is a native of Rochester, NY, just about 75 miles down I-90. Could the Buffalo Sabres bring Callahan back to WNY and sign him to a deal this offseason?

Many were surprised when Callahan was traded from the Rangers to the Tampa Bay Lighting in March of this year. The Rangers received Martin St. Louis in exchange for Callahan and a pair of draft picks. Talks between the Rangers and Callahan’s camp simply weren’t working out, and many believe he’s priced himself out of the NYR organization.

It’ll be a matter of time before we see if the price is right for the Lightning or if they’ll let Callahan walk to free agency. If that’s the case, could he be a good fit for the Sabres?

Long before his NHL days, Callahan played in Syracuse with the Jr. Crunch and in Buffalo with the Lightning of the OPJHL. He then spent four years with the OHL’s Guelph Storm before making the transition to the NHL and AHL. Prior to March, Callahan had been property of the Rangers organization for nearly ten years, since he was drafted in 2004.

This season, Callahan had 25 points (11-14) in 45 games with the Rangers prior to the trade. He then had 11 points in 20 games with the Lightning and failed to register a point in four playoff games.

Overall, Callahan has over 500 games of NHL experience (regular season and playoff) and has 289 points in his NHL career.

As it stands right now, the Buffalo Sabres have three right wingers signed for next season: Drew Stafford, Brian Flynn and Chris Stewart. Matt D’Agostini is set to become an unrestricted free agent. There could be a spot for Callahan in Buffalo, and he might be willing to sign in Buffalo and return close to home — even though he hasn’t played on a Buffalo team since 2002 — if the Sabres are willing to give him the price he’s looking for.

Should the Buffalo Sabres consider signing impending free agent Ryan Callahan? Vote in the poll below and leave your thoughts in the comments.

Should the Buffalo Sabres try to sign Ryan Callahan?

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Tags: Buffalo Sabres Nhl Free Agency Ryan Callahan

  • Kevin

    We can look at him for his leadership qualities as a bonus, seeing how was captain of the NYR before the trade. But as for numbers as a RW, I don’t think he will put anymore than Stafford or Stewart on this team. Now if we can move one of those 3 to the LW and get the same production out of them. Then we got something. With him we might be able to stack 2 lines.

  • wolfdoctor

    No. He’s too old. By the time the Sabres are contenders he”ll be in his mid 30′s. All he would accomplish here would be to hurt the tank. The Sabres need McDavid or Eichel to finalize the tanking phase of the rebuild. IMO, the Sabres will start looking for good free agents after next year’s draft.

    • davidmuscalo

      Disagree! By the time the Sabres are contenders, Callahan will be reaching his peak. As for McDavid and Eichel, the Sabres will never get either one. The adage, a bird in hand is worth two in the bush is the watchword here. You can’t rebuild around a vacuum and that is current status of the team. If I were the owner of an expansion franchise, there isn’t one player on the currently configured Sabres team that I would want to select. We don’t even have a goalie that is capable of stealing a game here and there.

      • wolfdoctor

        LOL. One can argue that Callahan (age 29) is already past his peak, which most people believe is age 25-28. I don’t know why you think McDavid and Eichel are out of reach. Finishing last shouldn’t be that difficult, especially if you think there isn’t a single player on the Sabres worthy of selecting by an expansion team. Considering this, wouldn’t you want a top draft choice next year?

        • Kevin

          One could argue that 29 your just your just hitting your peak. You have just matured. All these draft choices are are nice, but you must have some good mature players in place to create a stable working team.

        • davidmuscalo

          You forget the lottery. The Sabres’ got second pick this year. Next year could be worse even if they do finish last in the NHL.

          • wolfdoctor

            Not if the league doesn’t change the lottery rules. Under current rules, if the Sabres finish last then they can pick no worse than 2nd.

      • wolfdoctor

        Just wondering what you think of Drew Stafford. He’s 6 months younger than Callahan and they have similar stats. 3 time 20 goals scorers. Stafford 0.58 ppg, Callahan 0.56 ppg. Their +/- are about the same. What are your thoughts about extending a younger Stafford rather than signing Callahan?

        • davidmuscalo

          Stafford is a proven loser; Callahan is a proven winner. Callahan is a leader and has been an outstanding player on both the Rangers and Tampa Bay. He is tough, smart and aggressive.

          Some may argue that Stafford has taken a leadership roll with the Sabres; however, that roll was gained by default, it isn’t anything he has earned during his unremarkable career with the Sabres. In fact the only thing remarkable about Stafford is that he is still a Sabre, and even that, is likely due to the fact that no other GM wants him.

          • wolfdoctor

            But Callahan’s stats aren’t any better than Stafford’s.

          • davidmuscalo

            Stats don’t tell the whole story. When Callahan is on the ice good things often happen. When Stafford is on the ice nothing usually happens unless it the other team scoring a goal.

  • qwicwted

    Signing Callahan would be moreso for his leadership, work ethic and mentoring abilities. The Sabres need to transition our youngsters into the NHL and what better leader to do that. Callahan’s scoring ability won’t really impact Buffalo’s standings next year, but his leadership can give Bflo an identity and help shape the teams attitude.

  • davidmuscalo

    I voted yes, but I think, realistically, the chances of signing Callahan are slim to none. The only way I can see it happening is if management offers him a lucrative (above market value), long-term contract.

  • jimbobv2

    He won’t be worth the contract he’ll get. I hope the Sabres stay away.