The worst kept secret in the NHL became official Sunday. Defenseman Marc Staal officially signed a contract extension with the New York Rangers.
Staal's contract length is over six years, and reaches a total of $34.2 million according to The Daily News. That's a major chunk of change for Staal and the Rangers, but it’s not as bad as it initially sounds.
Also per The News:
It includes three years of a no-move clause, and three of a modified no-trade clause.
Below is the Rangers release, which tried to highlight some of Staal's superlatives. When you read it, you see there aren't exactly a ton, mostly because he's one of those 'mobile defensive defensemen.'
Staal, 28, ranks second among all Rangers in games played (503), is tied for second among Rangers defensemen in goals (29), and ranks third among Rangers defensemen in assists (90) and points (119) since he joined the team in 2007-08. He is one of 12 defensemen who have skated in at least 500 career regular season games with the Blueshirts in franchise history. During his tenure with the Rangers, Staal represented the team at the 2011 NHL All-Star Game, received the John Halligan Good Guy Award for cooperation with the media in 2013-14, and won the Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award as the best rookie in Training Camp in 2007. Staal was also the team’s nominee for the Bill Masterton Trophy, awarded to the player who “best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship, and dedication to hockey,” in 2013.
Not to totally rag on the signing, because it's actually not a bad deal seeing that the much older Brooks Orpik got $5.5 million last year as an unrestricted free agent.
Staal also isn't exactly a prolific blueliner -- one that merits a bigger contract than he got. Puck possession is not his strong suit – probably because he’s more defensive-minded. His career-high is 29 points. His on-ice Corsi this year per behindthenet.ca is minus-2.02 5-on-5, though the site does indicate he's playing against some top-level competition.
Regardless, Rangers general manager Glen Sather appears to be going for the New Jersey model of the 90s and early 2000s that led to much success.
Draft an elite goaltender and put a group of solid defensemen in front of him. Sign them up to long-term contracts and watch the group grow. New York won't have to worry about its defense until 2018 when Ryan McDonagh's deal is up. That ain't bad.
And as per the Staal family -- Eric makes $8.25 million per-year on average. Jordan? $6 million per-year. They should each write hockey a 'Thank You' card.
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