St. Louis a valuable addition to the Blueshirts
The Rangers and their team captain Ryan Callahan closed the door today as they were unable to reach a contract extension. The team and Callahan had been trying to work out a deal over the past few weeks but unfortunately, neither side was able to come to an agreement on the terms.
Another door opened for the Rangers when they went ahead and traded Callahan and a pair of draft picks to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Martin St. Louis. St. Louis had reportedly been asking out of Tampa Bay after not being initially selected for Team Canada by both Lightning and Team Canada general manager Steve Yzerman.
There is no doubt that in Callahan, the Rangers are losing one of their better players. On a nightly basis since joining the Rangers in the 2006-07 season, Callahan was someone who worked hard, sacrificed his body to block shots and dish out hits, produced on a somewhat consistent basis and was a leader both on and off the ice.
With that said, the Rangers may actually be getting a better player back in return in St. Louis. Even at 38 years of age, St. Louis is still one of the top players in the NHL and is someone who can make any team better.
For starters, the Rangers are getting one of the best offensive players in the game. As of this writing, St. Louis is eighth in the league with 61 points (29 goals and 32 assists) and has been one of the most consistent offensive players in the league since the 2002-03 season as he has never had less than 60 points over that span.
Secondly, St. Louis is one of the most creative passers in the game today. He knows how to setup his teammates by making smart passes and since the 2002-03 season, he has had at least 30 assists.
This is going to be important as the team marches towards the postseason. He could end up being a big help in setting up the likes of Brad Richards, Carl Hagelin, Derick Brassard, and Benoit Pouliot.
Lastly, like Callahan, St. Louis is natural leader. St. Louis is a proven Cup winner who works hard every game, hustles, plays in all situations, leads by example and is someone who is quite visible in the community.
While it does hurt to lose a player that was "born and raised' in the Rangers' system, the Blueshirts are getting a player who could end up helping them compete for hockey's Holy Grail in Martin St. Louis.