New York Rangers fans will witness a jarring sight on Monday: Ryan Callahan in another team’s uniform.
Their former captain now plies his trade with the Tampa Bay Lightning, who also employ former Rangers Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle. Still, there’s no denying that Callahan’s departure was more controversial (and dramatic), so even he doesn’t know what to expect from the crowd at Madison Square Garden, as New York Newsday reports.
“I’m looking at it as another game. Obviously, it’s a little more than that, but I’m going to try and get the two points and get out of there,” Callahan said. “I don’t know [if I’ll be cheered]. It’s a fickle place there in MSG — that’s what it’s all about there. It’s a great crowd, great fans, and I’m excited to go back and play.”
The 29-year-old played parts of eight seasons with the Rangers, appearing in 450 regular season games and 59 postseason contests.
Whether it was more about term or the dollars, Rangers GM Glen Sather balked at Callahan’s asking price, eventually including him in the splashy trade that landed Martin St. Louis in New York. Callahan eventually signed a six-year, $34.8 million deal with the Lightning right before he was set to become an unrestricted free agent this past summer.
Some Rangers fans might feel some bitterness in that regard, yet it’s likely that his high-effort style left a lasting impression on many others.
It should be interesting to see how he’s received … and probably a pretty fun game to watch on its own.