Ryan Callahan just checked in from upstate New York with some thoughts on being one of 34 players invited to the Team USA camp in suburban Chicago, Aug. 17-19, where he'll be joined by Scott Gomez and Chris Drury, along with John Tortorella, who will be an assistant coach to Ron Wilson.
"I definitely wasn't sitting around and expecting it," Callahan said. "But in the back of my mind, I knew it was going to be announced, the evaluation camp roster and I was hoping that I would be on the list. It's an honor to be mentioned with a lot of the guys on the list. It's nice to be recognized by the country.
"I found out last night," he added. "You always think about things like that, even before I was in the NHL, watching the Olympics and how special it would be to represent the country. I'll try to go out and do well at the evaluation camp and we'll go from there."
Callahan said both Gomez and Drury called him earlier today to offer their congratulations. And Callahan realizes the invite represents another step in his career.
"I think so," he said. "It acknowledges the hard work I've put in the past three years as a pro. It's a good accomplishment. It's let's people around the league and nationally start recognizing me as a player. It's pretty exciting."
Meanwhile, Callahan said he's been training hard this summer, knowing what training camp under Tortorella will be like. We discussed some of the things the prospects have been going through this week, including today's 45-lap skate and last night's three-mile timed run (22 minutes or under).
Callahan confirmed he's received a qualifying offer from the Rangers - Fredrik Sjostrom is the lone member of the NHL roster to not receive one - and said he hoped negotiations would go smoothly.
Callahan also acknowledged he's heard some of the Dany Heatley trade talk and realizes his name has been mentioned (if not sought by Ottawa).
"I've enjoyed my little stint that I've had in New York," Callahan said. "It's nice to know that (the Rangers) want to keep me."