The last thing Marc Staal wanted was lingering contract drama.
He saw how it consumed Dan Girardi’s thoughts. He saw how it went so far off the rails with Ryan Callahan that the New York Rangers traded their captain after the sides couldn’t agree on a new deal (and, well, because Martin St. Louis became available, too).
According to Larry Brooks of the NY Post, and confirmed by other writers on the beat, Staal’s drama is about to end with a new extension with the Rangers.
It is believed the sides are discussing a six-year deal between $5.6 and $5.9 million per season for the 28-year-old defenseman, who is in his eighth season as a Ranger after having been selected 14th overall in the 2005 Entry Draft.
Staal, Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Lee Stempniak and Matt Hunwick currently are pending unrestricted free agents while Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, Jesper Fast and John Moore are pending restricted free agents.
Bob McKenzie of TSN suggests there will be a meeting in the middle for the sides at $5.7 million. The Rangers wanted to snag Staal for the same $5.5 AAV contract they handed Girardi; Staal was looking for a cap hit around $6 million per season. Pierre LeBrun notes that the deal has "a full NTC for first 3 years and starts right away; then after 3 years it becomes a partial NTC."
No matter what you think of Staal – while he’s clearly better than Girardi, he still has flaws in his game, though his physicality is an asset (ask Crosby) – that AAV is a flippin’ steal. Brooks Orpik got $5.5 million as a UFA last season; what the hell does Marc Staal get on that scale?
With Girardi, Ryan McDonagh and Staal, the Rangers are going to have two good D-pairings in front of Henrik Lundqvist through 2018 at least (that’s when McDonagh’s up). That’s a hell of a foundation on which to build.
Alas, no total Staal family reuinion in Carolina. Then again, who knows where Eric ends up anyway ...
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