NEW YORK - The New York Rangers and Tampa Bay Lightning are pulling off the first major deal on NHL trade deadline day, swapping captains Ryan Callahan and Martin St. Louis in a blockbuster.
The Rangers had been trying to sign Callahan, who can become an unrestricted free agent this summer, but weren't able to reach an agreement with the gritty forward. Instead of risking losing him for nothing on the open market, New York dealt him, a second-round pick in this year's draft, and a first round pick in next year's draft to Tampa Bay on Wednesday for St. Louis, a disgruntled two-time NHL scoring champion.
The 38-year-old St. Louis, who led the NHL in the lockout-shortened 2013 season with 60 points, has been seeking a trade after initially being left off Canada's Olympic roster by Lightning general manager Steve Yzerman, who served as Canada's executive director. St. Louis was added to the squad when Lightning teammate Steven Stamkos was unable to play because of injury.