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March 6, 2014

St. Louis and Callahan swap highlights busy NHL trade deadline

Trade deadline season is one of the most fun times to follow sports, and one thing that sets the NHL’s trade deadline apart is that teams aren’t afraid to go out and make bold moves. There doesn’t seem to be the same paralysis that grips teams in other leagues, and every year it seems like there are at least a couple big names switching uniforms.

This year was no exception, and after a busy couple of days leading up to the deadline, the final hour hit with a flurry of activity, and once the dust had finally settled, two franchise-altering deals had been finalized that could completely change the landscape going into the stretch run.

Tampa trades Martin St. Louis to the Rangers for Ryan Callahan and two draft picks

How often do you ever see a trade like this go down? Two captains traded for one another straight up? It’s almost unheard of.

To be fair, it’s not a one-for-one swap, Tampa Bay is also going to get a 2015 1st round draft pick and a 2nd round pick for this year that could turn into a first if the Rangers make the conference final. But still, St. Louis was one of the best players in Tampa Bay history, and Callahan was expected to be one of the Rangers’ building blocks for years to come.

Evidently the contract talks between Callahan and the Rangers broke down, and rather than overpay for a guy they weren’t completely sold on, the Rangers brass decided to ship him out and get something in return. It’s not entirely a surprise that St. Louis was traded — his relationship with GM Steve Yzerman reportedly deteriorated sour after Yzerman left him off the Canadian Olympic roster — but for Callahan and two high picks, who could’ve predicted a haul like that?

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