Lightning forward wants to silence his critics

He needs to perform to ensure the team's success

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Tampa Bay Lightning forward Ryan Callahan has had no luck in the recent seasons. But things are about to change, according to him. 

Callahan missed 64 games last year, plus training camp and the start of last season due to offseason hip surgery. When he was finally ready to return, he only participated in 18 contests and underwent a second procedure in February to deal with a stitch from the previous surgery that had come out and was pulling on his femur.

The 32-year-old had reassuring words for fans during an interview with Corey Long of, saying he is looking for a bounce-back season.

"I'm full go, right from day one," Callahan said. "It goes without saying this is the most excited I've been in a long, long time going into a season after only playing 18 games last year and feeling the way I do now."

Fans do remember Callahan's struggles, after he only picked up a puny four points, although he carries an annual cap hit of $5.8 million over the next three years.

"I know there's chatter and people doubt me - if I can come back and what I'll be like when I come back," Callahan added. "I've always tried to use it as motivation. That's how they propelled me to the place I am right now in my career. I'm looking at this the same way. I'm excited to get going this year. I think it's going to be one of the best years I've ever had."