Report: Devils have talked with Lightning about eating Callahan's contract
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The Tampa Bay Lightning and Ottawa Senators are reportedly looking for a third party to help facilitate an Erik Karlsson trade.
There's been plenty of talk the New Jersey Devils could be said party, which isn't exactly surprising given they have a hair over $23 million in cap space with 19 players already under contract.
I speculated the Devils could push for Tyler Johnson – Ray Shero has a habit of using his financial flexibility to pry quality offensive players from cap strapped teams – but the Lightning are really focused on finding someone to take Ryan Callahan off their hands.
This from David Pagnotta of TheFourthPeriod.com
Tampa would need to move out some salary and Ryan Callahan is the most likely candidate.
The Lightning has talked to the Rangers about taking on Callahan, and so have the New Jersey Devils, whom we reported emerged as a third-team in a possible Ottawa/Tampa deal a couple of days ago.
I think a really attractive piece would have to be attached to take on Callahan. Not just a mid round pick or prospect with a limited ceiling. Something meaningful.
Callahan has recorded just seven goals and 22 points in 85 games over the last two seasons.
During that time he has averaged 1.10 points per 60 at 5v5, which slots him below the likes of Matt Stajan, Matt Martin and Tom Pyatt.
Callahan is also somewhat of a possession anchor and the Lightning scored just 42.65% of the goals with him on the ice during that two-year window.
At this point he's a 4th liner at best so, again, the Lightning should really have to sweeten the pot to make taking on his contract (two more years at $5.8 per) worthwhile.
If roster players are off limits, a promising prospect like Boris Katchouk could make sense.
Whether anything materializes for the Devils remains to be seen but I like the fact Shero is once again trying to weaponize cap space.
Reviewing the Devils' 2018 draft class
Devils get excellent value at 17 with Ty Smith
Miles Wood drastically improved in 2017-18