It seems like the trade talks that have developed around Ottawa Senators superstar defenseman Erik Karlsson could result in some significant fallout even if a trade involving Karlsson doesn't end up materializing anytime soon.
One of the more prominent rumors that has featured around the Erik Karlsson trade rumors has suggested that he would eventually end up playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning during the 2018 - 2019 National Hockey League regular season. There was of course a significant complication with this potential trade deal and that is the current amount of cap space that is available to Tampa Bay Lightning general manager Steve Yzmernan and the Lightning organization. As always however it appears that Yzerman was way ahead of everyone and already had a potential plan in place for this eventuality.
According to multiple reports it was revealed that there was a high probability that the New York Rangers would act as the third team in this potential trade and as a result they would bring their former captain Ryan Callahan back into the fold of the Rangers organization. Now as of this writing this trade has not materialized and based on what we are hearing the talks between the Lightning and the Senators have died down considerably, but there is one element of this trade that may still come to pass.
According to a report from The Fourth Period's David Pagnotta there were as many as three teams with interest in acquiring Callahan as part of a three team trade, the aforementioned New York Rangers, the New Jersey Devils, and a third team that Pagnotta has been unable to identify at this time. There are now rumors suggesting that those three teams would still very much like to acquire Callahan from the Lightning, and given the large contract that Yzerman just handed out to Lightning superstar Nikita Kucherob you have to wonder if he might not still be interested in making that deal as well.
There's no question that Callahan continues to be a valuable asset for Yzerman and the Lightning on the ice, however if Yzerman continues to look around the NHL in an attempt to add another top tier talent to his blue line he's going to need to make space under the salary cap sooner rather than later. Callahan is under contract for two more seasons and his contract carries and average annual value and salary cap hit of $5,800,000 for each of those two seasons.
It seems obvious why the Rangers would be interested in bringing back Callahan, not only is he familiar with their organization but clearly they also believe in his leadership skills considering they handed him the captaincy. The Rangers are currently working towards a rebuild and having Callahan around to help shape the next generation of Rangers' talent could provide a huge benefit to that team. T
he Devils on the other hand likely believe that his veteran leadership could help propel their young stars to the next level. The Devils barely made the playoffs after an up and down season but having a stabilizing presence like Callahan in the locker room could be just what they need to take that extra step forward this season.
It will be very interesting to see if this deal goes through, if it does it will be a sign that Yzerman and the Lightning are still on the hunt.
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