This Season Will Be Marc Staal’s Farewell Tour With the New York Rangers
This should not come as any shock, but according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal and his agent are looking for a long-term deal. Staal is an unrestricted free agent after this upcoming NHL season and would like a long-term extension to stay a member of the Rangers.
Sounds good, but there are a few problems with this, however. For one, the Rangers and Staal have not even begun to negotiate a new contract. And two, the Rangers may not want to extend Staal beyond this year anyway.
Staal has been a fixture on the Rangers’ blueline ever since his rookie season back in 2007-08, and until Ryan McDonagh came along, was the best defenseman on the Rangers’ roster. Unfortunately, though, times have changed.
Over the past three seasons, Staal has been a shell of his former self, playing in only 139 out of the last 212 regular season games. From concussion problems to a horrific eye injury, Staal is not the same shutdown defenseman he once was.
In a long-term extension, Staal will be looking for a five- or six-year deal worth around $5.5 million per year, or basically the same contract the Rangers gave defenseman Dan Girardi mid-season last year.
The fact of the matter is with three of the Rangers’ starting six defensemen making $4.5 million or more per year (McDonagh, Girardi and Dan Boyle), there is no way the Rangers can take on a fourth defenseman at that price, especially with the Rangers’ lack of depth at the center position.
The only way Staal can possibly stay a Ranger is if he either takes a hometown discount or some trade is made during this upcoming season to free up cap space. Other than that, this will most likely be Staal’s farewell season as a member of the Rangers.