Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning

Report: Callahan, Lightning close to signing long-term deal


Ryan Callahan is close to re-signing with the Tampa Bay Lightning, according to a report from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet.

From Sportsnet:

The 29-year-old was eligible to pursue unrestricted free agency on July 1, but a source indicated that a new deal with the Lightning is “imminent.” While the precise terms of the extension weren’t immediately available, it is believed to be in excess of five years and worth as much as $5.5-million per season.

Scott Bartlett, one of Callahan’s agents, tweeted on Tuesday night that the sides had found “common ground towards a new deal.”

As per Johnston, and reports at the trade deadline, because Callahan will remain in Tampa Bay, the Rangers will now get a second-round pick back from the Lightning.

Callahan went to the Lightning at the March 5 trade deadline, in a blockbuster move that saw Martin St. Louis moved to the New York Rangers. The trade was facilitated because talks on a new deal between Callahan’s camp and the Rangers weren’t making much progress, and so the chips fell in a massive exchange of big-name players hours before the deadline.

Callahan scored six goals and 11 points in 20 regular season games with Tampa Bay, then went without a point in the playoffs, as the Lightning were swept out of the first round.

The Lightning made it clear right from about the start of April until now that they had interest in re-signing Callahan, who turned 29 years of age in March and was the subject of a PHT UFA of the Day feature earlier this month.

His play, even in a small sample, left a favorable impression on Tampa Bay’s head coach Jon Cooper: “I really, really hope Ryan considers us as a place he wants to spend the rest of his career … because as long as I’m coaching this team, I want Ryan Callahan on the bench. I don’t know how much stronger I can be about that.”

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan


Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?