After undergoing two hip surgeries a year ago, veteran forward Ryan Callahan has been a key player for the Tampa Bay Lightning this season. While his defensive skills and penalty killing have been critical for the Lightning, he also contributed a goal and an assist Saturday in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals. What’s amazing, writes The Athletic’s Joe Smith (subscription required), is that Callahan admits that he thought he would need season-ending surgery back in December when he suffered a serious shoulder injury.
The 33-year-old collided with Arizona’s Oliver Ekman-Larsson in a Dec. 14 against the Arizona Coyotes in which the two players got tangled and Callahan’s shoulder vaulted into the boards. He lost three weeks of his season, rehabbing the injury, but returned in early January. Despite re-injuring the shoulder in March, he has not let up and continues to throw his body around for the Lightning in the playoffs.
“There’s no question the last three years have been tough for me,” Callahan said. “I think, for me, I appreciate this even more, especially being in the league for 12 years now too. You realize you don’t get this chance and this opportunity very often. I appreciate it and I realize how hard it is to win. And I’m trying to take advantage of it.”
- Stu Cowan of the Montreal Gazette writes that Montreal Canadiens scout Sean Burke, who served as co-general manager with Martin Brodeur, for Team Canada at the IIHF World Championships this week, has no idea what his next step will be. Burke, who has served as a scout for Canadiens’ head coach Marc Bergevin, said he might like to return as a scout, but will wait to see if he gets a better offer. “(Marc) Bergevin has been great with me in allowing me to do both roles and gain experience here as well. So we’ll see what’s down the road, but like everybody in this business you’re looking to get better and I’ve been fortunate to work with great people,” Burke said.
- In his most recent podcast, TSN’s Bob McKenzie talks about Florida Panthers prospect Adam Mascherin, who says he will not sign with the team and has indicated he wants to re-enter the 2018 draft. The Panthers’ 2016 second-round pick claims to have been treated poorly by the Panthers and claims to not have been offered an entry-level deal. McKenzie says the Panthers have offered him an entry-level deal, a lucrative one that compares to that of the one that the Chicago Blackhawks’ Alex DeBrincat signed. He chose not to sign, because he “wasn’t feeling the love.” McKenzie adds that Mascherin is playing a dangerous game if he re-enters the draft as most players who re-enter get drafted lower and get lesser contracts.