The Carolina Hurricanes came into the offseason in need of help on the blue line. Aside from the addition of Mike Komisarek, they haven’t really addressed that as well as they could have. There are still options out on the free agent market that they’re looking at, and the trade market is still a possibility as well.
Looking specifically at the latter, there’s one player they could go out and acquire that would make plenty of sense for this Hurricanes club. That defenseman is New York Rangers d-man Marc Staal, the final piece to the Hurricanes finally achieving the Staal monopoly.
The Canes acquired Jordan Staal to add to Eric Staal last summer, and have since called up and re-signed Jared Staal. We should preface this by saying that we still don’t know where Staal is health-wise. He will never return to 100 percent after taking that puck to the eye, but should be ready to go when the season begins.
He’s signed for two more years in New York and is capable of logging minutes on a top defensive pairing. He played up over 24 minutes per game last season before going down with that injury. He can play some minutes with the man advantage, but is especially useful on the penalty kill, which would benefit this Hurricanes team.
He’ll chip in some points from the blue line as well, with 11 points in 21 games last season. He can play physical in his own zone, given his size and finished with a plus-4 rating last year. He’ll likely continue to add plenty of blocked shots again in the future, although this time he’ll be doing it with a visor.
A trade for Staal would help the Hurricanes improve their blue line and corner the market on Staals. The reason that this isn’t that far-fetched of an idea is the fact that the Rangers have a large group of young defensemen. They could afford to part with one if it meant upgrading their offense, which the Hurricanes have to spare.
It’s intriguing, but at this point, nothing has indicated that this is likely. Still, it’s hard to ignore how good a fit this trade could be.