Rangers captain Callahan separated shoulder ‘eight or nine times’ last season, says Sather


Upon meeting the New York media on Friday, new Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault said that — if everything he’s heard is true — Ryan Callahan will remain the Blueshirts’ captain.

Sounds like Vigneault’s been talking to Glen Sather.

On Wednesday, the Rangers’ GM praised Callahan’s ability to play through pain during the 2013 campaign, dealing with a reoccurring shoulder issue over the course of the regular season and playoffs.

“I can’t say we underachieved,” Sather told the New York Post. “Take a look at [Ryan] Callahan, he must have separated his shoulder eight or nine times during the year and he kept playing. Same with [Carl] Hagelin.

“These guys played with [courage].”

Callahan and Hagelin both underwent torn labrum surgeries following playoff elimination, and are expected to miss the first few weeks of next season.

Next season promises to be incredibly interesting for the 28-year-old captain.

He’s worn the “C” for the Rangers since 2011 and often epitomized the heart-and-soul, sacrifice-anything-to-win mentality former head coach John Tortorella loved.

But now, Callahan has a new head coach in Vigneault and is entering the final year of a three-year, $12.825 million deal, set to expire at the end of 2013-14.

Next summer will mark Callahan’s first kick at unrestricted free agency.

The right winger has proven to be a consistent goalscorer — 22, 19, 23, 29 and 16 over the last five seasons — and an extremely versatile player that’s able to kill penalties and block shots with the best of them.

It’ll be interesting to see how his future in the Big Apple plays out.

Crosby roars, Malkin scores in OT for Penguins win

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Controversy just seems to find the Pittsburgh Penguins. Credit Sidney Crosby & Co. for responding with a win on Wednesday.

Crosby generated two pretty goals, including this slam-dunk slapper:

… While Evgeni Malkin‘s overtime-winner stood as the Penguins managed a 4-3 overtime win against the St. Louis Blues tonight.

(You can see Malkin’s OT-clincher in the video above this post.)

Will this win and strong performance from Crosby silence murmurs about his relationship with Mario Lemieux? Probably not, yet it likely turns the volume down in some ways, including killing the “Is he struggling because of distractions” storyline.

You know, at least for a little while. Maybe.

Fight video: Claude Giroux vs. Nick Leddy

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Claude Giroux isn’t the nastiest, most physical captain the Philadelphia Flyers have employed. Even so, he can be feisty at times.

Wednesday showed that, as he clearly wasn’t happy with an earlier Nick Leddy hit, and eventually got the New York Islanders defenseman to drop his gloves.

You can see the fight and the check that inspired that scrap in the video above.

It’s the fourth fight Giroux has been a part of, with his most recent adversary being may his most bitter rival.

Not a heavyweight bout between Giroux and Leddy, mind you, but sometimes it’s amusing to soak in such a rare sight.

Carter Hutton gets flipped, stays in game

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Carter Hutton is getting something that might make fellow Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne jealous: goal support.

Still, there was at least one moment where Rinne was likely happy to be on the bench, as Hutton was left flipping during this collision with Buffalo Sabres forward Marcus Foligno:

Remarkably, Hutton remained in the game.

If you’re the type who loves adding to your “hockey players are tough” files, put this under the goalies section.

Check out this incredible shot of that moment:

Update: The Predators held off the Buffalo Sabres to win 3-2.

Habs win big against Rangers, may have lost big with Price hurt

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Tonight was supposed to be about a clash of two Eastern Conference titans who sport arguably the two best goalies in the NHL. That mattered to Montreal Canadiens fans for about half the game against the New York Rangers, give or take a few minutes.

Priorities are now shifting to calling upon higher powers/etc. in hopes that Carey Price is OK.

Mike Condon replaced Price in the third period and … well, people are concerned.

Again, people are pretty worried right now.

Price being replaced isn’t the greatest sign, yet it’s early, so stay tuned for updates. Maybe it will merely be a matter of playing it safe?

Update: The good news is that Montreal won by a significant 5-1 margin.

Yes, that probably isn’t much solace for Habs fans. Agreed.

It sounds like Price re-aggravated his previous injury.