On March 5th, 2014 the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Rangers completed the NHL’s first captain for captain trade in history. In the deal, the Lightning traded Captain Martin St. Louis for Ranger’s Captain Ryan Callahan. For fans on both sides of the fence, the trade came as a shock and even ruffled a lot feathers. For others, the trade came right on time. However, looking back, it seems the Tampa Bay Lightning has ended up with the better end of the deal.
Since the trade, the performance of Martin St. Louis in New York to Ryan Callahan’s here in Tampa has been under much scrutiny by fans and sports media. Numerous jokes and social media parody accounts like "Did Marty Score Yet?" took to pointing out Callahan’s success versus Marty’s lackluster showing in NY. Since Callahan’s reassignment he has posted 6 goals and 5 assists compared to St. Louis’ 1 goal, and 3 assists. So far, the Lightning players and staff have taken a liking to the new addition in the locker room. Before the game against the Ottawa Senators, Steven Stamkos said "He’s been great for us. You don’t really know what to expect when a guy comes into a new situation… He’s a competitor, and he wants to win."
So is Ryan Callahan the right fit for the Tampa Bay Lightning?
Since the first game after the trade, Lightning fans have had the opportunity see that Callahan brings more to the table than anyone originally anticipated. Callahan provides better scoring options by positioning in front of the net on power plays, adding additional pressure on penalty kills, and all around adding a defensive element to the forward positions. On multiple occasions, fans have even witnessed Callahan attempting to still score while knocked down in front of the net. If Callahan hasn’t proven to fans that he belongs yet, the postseason should provide plenty of opportunity for him to win them over. It also can’t hurt that the GM who has helped turn the Lightning around, Steve Yzerman, seems to think he belongs. "He’s a good fit, good person, good player, has a style of play that really complements our group well"