TAMPA – A new long term contract for Ryan Callahan to stay with the Tampa Bay Lightning appears near.
Callahan, acquired from the New York Rangers on March 5, is scheduled to be an unrestricted free agent on July 1. But it appears he may not reach the open market.
A tweet from Scott Bartlett, one of Callahan’s agents at Sports Consulting Group, hinted that something could be done soon.
“Very productive talks today between SCG and @TBLightning regarding pending UFA Ryan Callahan. Finding common ground toward new deal,’’ Bartlett wrote.
A text to Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman concurred with the assessment of where talks stood and indicated a deal could be reached soon.
Sportsnet in Canada reported on Tuesday that a new deal was “imminent’’ according to one source and the deal was expected to be for at least five years in and worth an average annual value of $5.5 million.
If a deal is reach it is expected to be announced on Wednesday.
A window for teams to speak to pending unrestricted free agents opened at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday and remains opening until free agency begins on July 1.
Callahan was acquired from New York along with two first round draft picks in exchange for Marty St. Louis and a seventh-round draft pick. If Callahan re-signs with Tampa Bay, the Lightning send a second-round pick in 2015 as part of the deal.
In 20 games with the Lightning last season, Callahan scored six goals and 11 points. In 450 career games with the Rangers, Callahan has 132 goals and 254 points and served as team captain.