Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Rangers Beat Isles Inside, Out

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Rangers Beat Isles Inside, Out

Article excerpt

NEW YORK - Any game now could be Ryan Callahan's last with the Rangers.

With contract negotiations with their the captain so far unfruitful, the Rangers have granted permission to more than one team to negotiate a potential contract extension with Callahan's agent Steve Bartlett.

Callahan had an assist as the Rangers defeated the Islanders, 4- 1, Friday night at Madison Square Garden as the Metropolitan Division foes took their rivalry indoors after the Rangers' 2-1 win at Yankee Stadium on Wednesday night.

The second-place Rangers (30-23-3), who have won three straight and are 14-5-1 since Dec. 22, got 38 saves from Henrik Lundqvist while Evgeni Nabokov stopped 33 shots for the last-place Islanders (21-28-8).

Derick Brassard broke a 1-1 tie at 12:14 of the third period off Marc Staal's feed on a delayed call against Andrew MacDonald. Callahan pushed the puck ahead to Brad Richards for a 3-1 lead at 14:59.

It's quite logical that the Rangers want this situation resolved - either with Callahan's trade or him signing a new deal - before the Olympic break trade deadline begins Friday at 3 p.m.

Callahan is playing for Team USA in the Sochi Games and the Rangers can't afford for him to suffer an injury and possibly get nothing in return if he does leave as an unrestricted free agent.

His role on the Rangers has also diminished since returning from a sprained MCL on Jan. 3 - his third injury absence of the season - as he's no longer a power-play regular. He has nine goals and 12 assists in 39 games this season.

Callahan is in the final season of a three-year, $12.825 million deal and it's not likely he'll offer the Rangers any hometown discounts. Callahan's camp was not thrilled during the off-season prior to the 2011-12 season when the Rangers prioritized signing Brandon Dubinsky, since traded to the Blue Jackets, to a four-year, $16. …

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