Over the last few days, a floating rumor has suggested that the New York Rangers could make a move for Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal. While it sounds like a good fit, you won’t see Marc Staal‘s brother in a Rangers uniform anytime soon.
How would the cap work for New York if they were to acquire Eric Staal? He comes with a $8.25 million cap hit per year until the 2015-16 NHL season. Knowing Carolina, they’d ask for the farm and then some just for Staal. That’d kill the Rangers’ hopes of developing players for quite some time.
And no, New York wouldn’t trade Rick Nash to even out the salaries. Don’t forget about the other free agents the Rangers have to sign, including the three that just filed for salary arbitration. Mats Zuccarello, Derick Brassard and Chris Kreider hold more value to the team’s success than one center who, while very good, could kill the team’s salary cap room.
Instead of going for big names with big contracts, New York seems keen on bringing up younger prospects while giving short-term deals to older veterans. It worked out quite alright for them this past season, and that’s how it should be. Their need for a first-line center is still there, but Staal isn’t the answer. The Rangers already have a good number of star names to put people in the seats, and Eric Staal wouldn’t make them more competitive in the long run.
Carolina did this to themselves, and New York won’t bail them out.