Rangers must ink Ryan Callahan soon 

July, 14, 2011

Editor's Note: After publication of this blog post, Brian Boyle was re-signed to a three-year contract.

With all due respect to Brad Richards, the most important free-agent signing of the summer could be still to come for the New York Rangers. Or so Glen Sather hopes, anyway.

On July 2, the day Richards signed his nine-year, $60 million dollar deal with the Blueshirts, the Rangers GM said his attention would turn to trying to ink the club's five restricted free agents.

He's already locked up forward Artem Anisimov and defenseman Michael Sauer, but the Rangers remaining trio of RFAs -- Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky -- are each scheduled to have their arbitration cases are heard this month. Time is running out.

"We've had good conversations, and continue to negotiate in good faith in the hopes that a deal can be reached," says Callahan's agent, Stephen Bartlett. "Arbitration is always the last resort."

Doug McIntyre is a staff writer for ESPN The Magazine. He has covered American and international soccer since 2002.