The Carolina Hurricanes traded four-time all-star Eric Staal to the New York Rangers in a four-player deal that reunites him with his brother Marc, the Rangers announced on Sunday.
The New York Rangers acquired veteran center Eric Staal from the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday.
The Leafs entered play Thursday tied for last place in the National Hockey League having dropped four consecutive games and eight of nine, while general manager Lou Lamoriello has begun stripping the roster through several trades in an effort to stockpile draft picks for the future.
The 31 year-old former 100-point scorer and Stanley Cup champion isn’t quite the same player that he was during his prime years in Carolina, but he’s still exactly what the doctor ordered for the Rangers. He has scored 30 or more goals five times, topped by 45 in 2005-06 when he reached 100 points for the lone time in his career. “But there are other teams around the league that are going through the same thing, so you’ve just got to focus, as a player, on the games”. But he’s been here before, in the playoffs, watching us play. Any team looking for a scoring defenseman who can help on the power play would be well served to start working the phones with the Rangers.
But the Canes are still in it, and moving Staal out for picks or prospects might send a disconcerting message to the Raleigh hockey faithful, tricky given that the Canes are already drawing less than 12,000 per game and are last in NHL attendance.
The now Ranger forward has tallied only 10 goals this season but has play making potential.
“When you miss the playoffs for six years and you’re the leader, the captain, it’s tough”, Staal said. The Hurricanes needed to gain a prospect with big upside to show their fans proof they didn’t deal away their franchise player for a bunch of hit-or-miss draft picks.
The Hurricanes said Staal was feeling the effects of a flu bug, and he remained back at the hotel while the rest of the team tuned up for Thursday’s game at the Air Canada Centre.
Jordan Staal said his big brother “had a lot of emotions for the both of us”. His final postseason game with the Hurricanes was a 4-1 home loss against the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2009 Eastern Conference Final. He has also been linked to Nashville, Dallas and the Rangers, where younger brother Marc is a star defenceman. Henry and Linda Staal aren’t in NY for the game but will be watching on television. And when it became clear the Hurricanes had made a decision to deal him, Staal knew to push for the Rangers.
“The discussions I had with management, the direction they were wanting to go in, he knew it was a possibility”. You’d have to put him in the “primary offense” category, but he’s not the only guy shouldering the load, which should help. He hasn’t notched near a point per-game since the 2012-13 season when he had 53 points in 48 games played.