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Lightning sign Callahan to six-year contract @NHLdotcom

The Tampa Bay Lightning on Wednesday signed forward Ryan Callahan to a six-year contract.

Financial terms were not disclosed, but according to multiple media reports it's for $34.8 million, or an average annual value of $5.8 million. Callahan also reportedly receives a no-trade clause for the first four years of the contract.

"I couldn't be happier to be part of the Tampa Bay Lightning organization for the next six years and I am excited for this new chapter of my career," Callahan said. "Tampa Bay has been a great place to live and play from the day I got there. As soon as the season ended I knew it was a place I wanted to be."

Callahan was acquired from the New York Rangers at the NHL Trade Deadline on March 5 along with draft picks for forward Martin St. Louis. He had six goals and 11 points in 20 regular-season games following the trade.

"As enticing as free agency can sound, I know me and my family loved it there and I like the direction the team is going," Callahan said.

Callahan was held scoreless in four Stanley Cup Playoff games and the Lightning were swept by the Montreal Canadiens in the Eastern Conference First Round, but with Steven Stamkos, Ben Bishop and a young nucleus surrounding him, Callahan sees the potential for great things in the future.

"We're building towards something good," Callahan said. "It wasn't the playoffs we wanted, but we can learn from it. You realize that you need to go up another notch or two once the playoffs start and we have to use it as a stepping stone. We made the playoffs, which is great. Now we have to win in the playoffs."

A fourth-round pick (No. 127) by New York in the 2004 NHL Draft, Callahan has career totals of 138 goals and 265 points in 470 regular-season games for the Rangers and Lightning. He also has 14 goals and 24 points in 63 playoff games.

Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman said of Callahan, "He's proven to be a fierce competitor and outstanding leader who fits very well with our team."

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