The alternate captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Ryan Callahan, served as one of the team’s leaders in hits, but also found himself on the score sheet in the later rounds of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s playoff run. It now appears that he had been playing with a shoulder injury for a majority of the playoffs, after suffering an injury against the New Jersey Devils in round one of the playoffs.
Callahan was a present force in each and every playoff game, even though he gets less ice-time than a majority of his teammates. He plays on the roster’s fourth line, but still manages to be a leading presence on his team. The leadership that Callahan shows on the bench is part of the reason that the Lightning’s younger players fit into the system so seamlessly.
Callahan is considered a seasoned veteran, and his ability to physically frustrate the other team in important hockey games is extremely important to supporting the resilient and tenacious characteristics that are required to succeed in the National Hockey League. Callahan is a popular teammate in the Tampa Bay dressing room, and it’s expected that he will stick with the team into the future, although from a business perspective, the team may consider trading him or buying his contract out to open up some cap space for the roster. His contract is currently worth a little more than five million dollars, a large price to pay for a fourth liner, despite his leadership capabilities.
It is extremely possible that Callahan will remain with the Lightning for the remainder of his contract and then eventually retire uneventfully, but similar to previous experiences on the Lightning roster, former captains Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis were both dealt away from the team in the past. Only time will tell whether Callahan ultimately finishes his career in Tampa, or whether he’ll be forced to travel to a new team in the near future.