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Report: Callahan lowers contract demands, sizable gap remains

Chicago Blackhawks v New York Rangers

NEW YORK, NY - FEBRUARY 27: Ryan Callahan #24 of the New York Rangers skates in an NHL hockey game against the Chicago Blackhawks at Madison Square Garden on February 27, 2014 in New York City. Rangers won 2-1. (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)

Paul Bereswill

With the 2013-14 trade deadline just two days away, the New York Rangers’ contract negotiations with captain Ryan Callahan have shown the first outward sign of progress in quite some time.

Callahan had been demanding a contract in the ballpark of seven years, $49 million and the Rangers had balked at that. The negotiations consequently seemed to be going nowhere fast and the chances of them trading him were reportedly at “99 percent.”

Now he’s willing to accept a six-year offer with an average annual salary in the range of $6.5 million to $6.75 million, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.

That’s a meaningful concession given that the previous seven-year length was one of the Rangers’ major issues because they’re concerned about the 28-year-old’s durability.

The two sides still have a large gap to overcome as the Rangers don’t want to go over a $6 million annual salary for Callahan, but now there’s a glimmer of hope.

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