BY: John Mamola
With the conclusion of the Tampa Bay Lightning’s season on Tuesday night in Montreal, the clock has officially begun on Bolts General Manager Steve Yzerman and his decision to keep or let loose of unrestricted free agent Ryan Callahan. According to several reports, the Lightning have expressed interest in keeping the 29-year-old forward who was acquired in a trade for then Lightning Captain Martin St. Louis.
Callahan spoke Thursday morning following his exit interview with Lightning coaches and staff, and said the team has yet to discuss any contract terms to stay in Tampa Bay.
“I’m sure that’ll happen over the next couple days or weeks here,” said Callahan. “I really haven’t thought about it to be honest with you. Since the season just ended I’m trying to get everything organized and head back home. I’m sure there will be contact in the near future.”
GM Steve Yzerman told ESPN.com’s Pierre Lebrun ealier this month that the Bolts would love to keep Callahan in house.
"Yeah, we’d love to sign him," said Yzerman. "He’s a good fit, a good person, a good player, has style of play that really complements our group well; he’s fit in really well. So we hope to sign him. But we won’t talk until after the year."
Callahan said he enjoyed his time playing with Tampa Bay and is open to staying with the organization long term.
“I enjoyed it here. I really enjoyed my time here, it’s a very good team,” said Callahan. “Great city and a great organization so I’m definitely open to that.”
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