Cally Come Back: Callahan is open to returning to Tampa

Smart players like Ryan Callahan keep their options open. When a player hits unrestricted free agency and was traded to a team, you don’t burn bridges or your pending value. Certainly Callahan told assembled media that he is open to coming back. It’s not as demonstrative as saying you want to come back, or definitely returning.

He’s still chasing his first championship, and 30 teams will throw money at him. Except maybe the Rangers if Glen Sather is still playing poker. How soon can he win now? How much will he paid to win? How much ice time will he get? Will his family move with him?

Callahan has a lot to think about and so does Steve Yzerman, who already saw that the Rangers wouldn’t pay between $6.3 million and $6.5 million. You’d think that given the trade scenario, you wouldn’t give up Martin St. Louis’ offense in exchange for a pricey power forward you couldn’t afford to sign.

Fortunately, Yzerman can see if he can get a reduced price on Callahan. Not for a new hometown discount. Florida lacks a state income tax, putting more in your paycheck.

Callahan’s exit interview, or what was available, was the shortest one so far, clocking in around three minutes instead of 10. Here’s Callahan addressing the assembled media, via the Lightning.

Cally come back

“It was great right from day one. As I said all along, they accepted me right away–the guys in the room, the organization–it was a tough trade where they lost a key part of their room, a key part of their organization. I never felt as an outsider, which was nice.

“I haven’t really thought about it to be honest with you. Season just ended-kind of trying to get everything organized I had back home. So, I’m sure they’ll be in contact in the near future.

“I enjoyed it here. I really enjoyed my time here. It’s a very good team, great city, great organization, so I’m definitely open to that.

“Over the next couple days, weeks, that’s when you’ll start focusing on your future and where you’ll end up”.

“You want to be on a team that the organization is going in the right direction. You can definitely see that they’re doing this here with the amount of young talent. The future does look bright, so that’s a huge part of it.

“There’s a lot of things that weigh into it: your family life, how your family likes it, how good the team is like you said, and obviously there’s that financial part of it, too. There’s different things that weigh on it, different things weigh more than others, and that’s something I have to decide.

What he liked about the Lightning

“The guys in the room–how close they are off the ice and on the ice– how good of a group we have, how young we are. The future definitely looks very bright. And as an organization, how they treated me as I came in.”

What he would change

My own production. I don’t think I had the playoffs that I wanted, personally. With the team losing four in a row, that falls on me, too. I think I could have produced more, created more opportunities. I’m not happy with the way I played in the playoffs.

What’s missing

A little bit of experience. I think we saw a little bit of that in the playoffs. Like I said, it’s a talented group, the more you stay together, the more you’ll learn and the better you’re going to be.

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