Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Speculation Has Rangers Interested in Blues' Stewart; Callahan Is Said to Be a Player New York Might Consider Moving

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Speculation Has Rangers Interested in Blues' Stewart; Callahan Is Said to Be a Player New York Might Consider Moving

Article excerpt

The NHL essentially has two trading deadlines this season. One arrives at 3 p.m. on Feb. 7, when the league hits the pause button on trades while the Winter Olympics take place in Sochi, Russia.

The freeze thaws at midnight on Feb. 23, after which teams have until the league trade deadline of March 5 to do business.

That's why the rumor mill already is cranking. One of the speculative balloons in the air Friday was the New York Rangers having interest in Blues forward Chris Stewart. The concept, advanced in several places, suggested the Rangers might be willing to part with forward Ryan Callahan in return.

For instance, Darren Dreger of TSN tweeted: "Western Conf teams suggest the Rangers are gathering intel on Chris Stewart. Callahan for Stewart would be a sweet deal for the Blues."

Callahan happens to be the captain of the Rangers. He also is in the final year of a contract and is said to be seeking a multi-year deal that would pay $5 million to $6 million annually. Currently, his salary cap hit is similar to that pertaining to Stewart, who has another year left on a deal that represents a cap hit of some $4.15 million.

Stewart, 26, is known as a scorer. He led the Blues with 18 goals last season, and he has 15 goals and 25 points this season. That said, eight of his goals came in a six-game span in mid-December. Callahan, who turns 29 in March, is known for his grit and two-way style. With nine goals and 20 points, he has struggled some this season. He scored 29 goals in 2011-2012.

The Rangers need scoring; they are 19th in the league in goals, 24th in goals at home. The Blues like grit. So, depending on your information, or motivation, you can make the dots connect.

Blues general manager Doug Armstrong was in Carolina on Friday and, s'true, he was on his cell phone quite a bit. But Armstrong is not one to advance rumors or work trades through the media. He could have been talking to the Rangers, other NHL teams, or he could have been talking to his broker. …

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