Posted by Toby Ivey ≡ 7:48:29 PM – July 13, 2009
The NHL announced this morning that the arbitration hearing dates for Ryan Callahan would be July 23rd. As it turns out that date is now free, after the Rangers announced they had come to terms with the 24 year old Callahan this afternoon on a reported two-year deal.
The third year pro set career highs last season scoring 22 goals and 18 assists in 81 games to finish tied for third on the team in goal scoring and lead the team in plus/minus with a +7.
Earning $650,000 last season on his entry level contract, Callahan proved he was not just a hard working third liner who could kill penalties. With the Rangers struggling to score goals, the Rochester native proved to be one of the few bright spots on offense.
The first NHL coaching change of his career also appears to have helped the young right wing, allowing him to finish the season with 11 goals in the final 28 games of the season under John Totorella.
The signing leaves Brandon Dubinsky, Lauri Korpikoski, Corey Potter and Nikolai Zherdev as the only remaining RFAs for the Rangers to sign. Zherdev, the only other Ranger who held arbitration rights, will have his hearing July 31st.
In other news the Rangers also announced that they have signed University of Alaska-Fairbanks goaltender Chad Johnson. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
A Hobey Baker finalist, Johnson was acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in a draft day trade that cost the Rangers a fifth round pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-2 native of Calgary, Alberta completed his college career last season with a 14-16-5 record, 9.40 Save Percentage and 1.66 GAA.
Johnson is set to compete for a job in Hartford, but will likely spend some time in the ECHL with the Charlotte Checkers to begin his pro career.