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Rangers interested in St. Louis' Stewart?

1/31/2014

According to a report from TSN's Darren Dreger, the Rangers have been "gathering intel" on St. Louis Blues forward Chris Stewart.

This comes on the heels of news that GM Glen Sather is exploring the trade market for Ryan Callahan in the event that the Rangers can't re-sign the 28-year-old captain by the March 5 trade deadline.

Chris Stewart

Chris Stewart

#25 RW
St. Louis Blues

2014 STATS

  • GM52
  • G15

  • A10

  • PTS25

  • +/-7

  • PIM103

It's easy to imagine the Blues would have interest in Callahan -- a gritty, hard-working forward that practically any contender covets as it gears up for the playoffs -- but let's take a look at it from the Rangers' perspective.

The 26-year-old Stewart has one year remaining on a two-year deal that comes with a $4.15 million cap hit (a similar charge to that of Callahan, who comes in at $4.275 million annually), but has been inconsistent this season. Though his numbers are solid -- 15 goals and 10 assists through 52 games -- he seems to be in Ken Hitchcock's doghouse as of late.

Recently dropped to the fourth line, Stewart played just 5:32 in the Blues' 4-3 shootout win over the Islanders on Saturday night (the only time he played less was after getting struck with a puck to the face in a game back in December).

Ryan Callahan

Ryan Callahan

#24 RW
New York Rangers

2014 STATS

  • GM38
  • G9

  • A11

  • PTS20

  • +/--1

  • PIM14

On the upside, the 6-2, 228-pounder would add some size on the right wing; he also doesn't come with the same durability concerns as Callahan, who has sat out with three separate injuries this season -- though that is largely a reflection of his relentless, rugged style of play.

One thing to remember, though, with this trade talk continuing to heat up: Think about the Rangers' other two high-profile negotiations this season with both Derek Stepan and Henrik Lundqvist. In the days leading up to both deals, negotiations appeared to be contentious. The acrimony didn't last long, though.

It's worth remembering that in the days leading up to the trade deadline, with the pressure mounting between Callahan's camp and the organization to get a deal done.