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Rangers avoid arbitration, sign Callahan

by Dave Lozo
Ryan Callahan and the New York Rangers avoided going to arbitration by coming to terms on a three-year contract Wednesday.

Several reports indicate the total value of the contract is $12.875 million and the deal lacks a no-trade or no-movement clause.

Callahan was a restricted free agent, with his arbitration hearing scheduled for Thursday. Just like teammate Brandon Dubinsky, who agreed to a four-year contract last week just hours before he was set to have his case heard by an arbitrator, Callahan hammered out a long-term deal.

"We were both working out three-, four- and five-year deals and I think we agreed the numbers worked for a three-year deal," Callahan told The Record. "We couldn't come to a conclusion on a longer deal.

"(But) I'm thrilled to be back for three years. I love playing for the Rangers. I'm excited to be back and to have this behind me and concentrate on the season. I was hoping it would get done but you never really know how it's going to go in these negotiations. I definitely didn't want to go to arbitration and only go on a one-year deal. I'm really happy it didn't have to come to that."

The 26-year-old right wing put up career-best numbers last season with 23 goals and 48 points despite missing 22 games with injuries suffered from blocking two separate shots. With the Rangers parting ways with Chris Drury, it's possible Callahan will be named the team's captain during training camp.

Other candidates to wear the "C" this season for the Rangers include defenseman Marc Staal and free-agent acquisition Brad Richards.

Callahan has been among the League leaders in hits and among the leaders among forwards in blocked shots the past two seasons. He is also one of the Rangers' top penalty killers.

Follow Dave Lozo on Twitter: @DaveLozo

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