This news coming out of Amalie Arena today regarding forward Ryan Callahan wasn’t what many expected. A degenerative disk disease in his back with force the gritty veteran to hang up his skates.
On Ryan Callahan: “He’s such a proud competitor, such a fierce competitor. I know he was planning to not only play out this contract, but sign another contract after that.”
Julien BriseBois: pic.twitter.com/F27vE4YNVp
— Tampa Bay Lightning (@TBLightning) June 20, 2019
TAMPA BAY – As most people were sitting down to their evening dinner with family, Tampa Bay Lightning GM Julian BriseBois was making an announcement no one wanted to hear. Around 6pm today the Lightning announced the forward Ryan Callahan would be placed on long term injured reserve, thusly ending his hockey career.
Heading into the offseason many fans expected Callahan to be a buy-out candidate for the Lightning, but no one could have seen this coming. Callahan known for his wrecking ball style of play has battled through a few injuries in his career, but this one will be the final, diagnosed as a degenerative disc disease of the lumbar spine.
What this means for the Lightning and their cap going forward
LTIR does not provide cap relief. It simply allows a club to exceed their upper limit. It is far from an ideal situation and can handcuff teams who use it
– it limits who the club can recall
– accruing cap space becomes very difficult
– exceeding the limit can result in Overages https://t.co/OGTwwx4drc
— CapFriendly (@CapFriendly) June 20, 2019
The problem with LTIR is that if you run into short term injuries—especially to a goaltender—it can impair your ability to call up a replacement. Whatever your cap number is when you start using LTIR remains your cap number until you stop using it. https://t.co/pul7UAkhAy
— Gord Miller (@GMillerTSN) June 20, 2019
His grit will be missed
No one brought it on the ice quite like Ryan Callahan, most coaches say “Leave it out on the ice” and he did… every game he played in. Callahan spent part of six seasons with the Lightning after being traded to the Bolts in the Marty St Louis trade that saw the teams swap captains. In 20 games that season Callahan scored six goals and added five assists. His best season as a Bolt came in 2014-15 when he scored 24 goals and added 30 assists for 54 points tying his best season point total. In 52 games last season he totaled seven goals and 10 assists.
Toward the mid way point of the 2018-2019 season Callahan was told he would be a healthy scratch as the 13th forward. It was a blow to the veteran, but he made the best of it.
It’s unsure if his number 24 will ever be raised to the rafters, but much like some past players he will forever be loved by the team and community.
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