RYAN CALLAHAN CELEBRATES HIS GOAL
Of all his accomplishments, there was one honour in particular that summed up Ryan Callahan’s standout 2008-09 season.
In 1987-88, the New York Rangers established the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award in honour of a former New York Police Department who was shot on July 12, 1986, leaving him a quadriplegic.
Each year, McDonald personally presents a Ranger with a trophy and a cheque (in the player's name) made out to the Steven McDonald Foundation.
Last season, it was Callahan who was the recipient, a testament to all that he achieved in a breakout campaign for the 24-year-old right-winger.
“I think it was mostly about being more comfortable,” said Callahan, who scored 22 goals and had 18 assists in 81 regular season games. “I wanted to contribute more offensively, put up more numbers. I thought it went pretty well.”
Callahan likely sees it in such terms based on his past offensive output.
He played one year of high school hockey for Hilton High School and launched his junior career with the Rochester Junior Americans of the Empire Junior B Hockey League where he played for two seasons, 1999–2001, before moving on to the Syracuse Jr. Crunch and Buffalo Lightning of the OPJHL.
It was during his four-year period, 2002-06, in the Ontario Hockey League with the Guelph Storm, when Callahan, who was selected 127th overall by the Rangers in 2004, began to make serious inroads towards a career in the NHL.
A jersey Callahan, who recently signed a two-year contract with New York, is looking forward to putting on once again in the near future.
“It’s reassuring to know they want you to be here,” he said. “It shows they want me here in New York.”
Callahan is hoping the 2009-10 season brings even more success.
“The way I see my game is that I do everything I can out there to make a difference. There will be times when you’re not scoring and you have to find other ways to contribute. Whether it’s taking the body, blocking shots or providing strong defensive play, there is always something you can do. Doing the little things can make a big impact.”
It’s that extra effort that makes Ryan Callahan a big hit on Broadway.