While we wait for the big name RFAs to re-sign in Detroit with the hope that either the deals get done smartly or the arbitration process doesn’t hurt he relationship between the Red Wings and Danny DeKeyser/Petr Mrazek, we’ve got a signing of a different RFA to announce.
The soon-to-be-25 year old Callahan will again be a restricted free agent at the end of this deal. He is waiver eligible and will have to clear if he’s going to be assigned to Grand Rapids again this season, but both of those things seem extremely likely.
Callahan is well-liked by Red Wings fans because he’s shown the kind of do-anything grit that people like and decent scoring prowess at the AHL level. Since his peak 26-goal performance with Grand Rapids in 2013-14, injury problems have limited his playing time, but hasn’t had much of an impact on his effectiveness.
Unfortunately, Callahan is trapped beneath a pile of better forwards with more NHL experience and the clock seems to be running out for him to get his chance. In terms of the role that he provides, it seems that Tyler Bertuzzi has surpassed him as the leading candidate for an agitator with some scoring touch.
As always, the Red Wings have not released contract information, so we don’t know the AAV. We’ll post it as soon as that information leaks out, but expect it’s well below the $950K threshold of completely buryable deals.
Colin Campbell, Louis-Marc Aubry, and Ryan Sproul remain the other as-of-yet unsigned RFAs for the club.
More from the Red Wings:
DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings today re-signed right wing Mitch Callahan to a one-year contract.
Callahan, 24, appeared in 62 games for the American Hockey League’s Grand Rapids Griffins in 2015-16 and ranked among team leaders with 19 goals (4th), 32 points (8th), 94 penalty minutes (2nd), four power-play goals (T3rd) and 139 shots on goal (T8th). The native of Whittier, Calif., has skated in 299 games for Grand Rapids since 2011-12, totaling 143 points (78-65-143) and 365 penalty minutes. He has also added 18 points (7-11-18) and 48 penalty minutes in 41 career AHL postseason games and was a member of the Griffins’ Calder Cup championship team in 2013. Callahan also appeared in one game for the Red Wings during the 2013-14 campaign.
Originally drafted by the Red Wings in the sixth round (180th overall) of the 2009 NHL Entry Draft, Callahan spent three seasons with the Kelowna Rockets of the Western Hockey League prior to his professional career. In 204 career major junior games from 2008-11, he recorded 128 points (57-71-128) and 440 penalty minutes and added 19 points (8-11-19) in 44 playoff games. Callahan helped Kelowna capture a WHL championship in 2011, picking up nine points (5-4-9) in 10 postseason games. The 6-foot, 195-pound forward also won bronze with the United States at the 2011 IIHF World Junior Championship, appearing in six games and scoring one goal during the tournament.
UPDATE: MLive’s Brendan Savage has Callahan earning the exact same deal as he had last season.