The New York Rangers have traded defenceman Marc Staal and a 2021 second-round pick to the Detroit Red Wings in exchange for future considerations.
Staal has spent his entire NHL career with the Rangers after being selected 12th overall in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. He has played 892 games and racked up 43 goals and 188 points in the Big Apple.
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The 33-year-old has one more season on a six-year pact he signed in 2015 that carries a $5.7 million annual cap hit. He had to waive his no movement clause for the deal to take place. Staal will instantly become the Red Wings’ number one defenceman and probably play 30 minutes a night in all situations for head coach Jeff Blashill.
Staal also will be relied upon to mentor up and coming defencemen Filip Hronek and Dennis Cholowski. Additionally, he becomes the second-highest priced player behind 24-year-old Dylan Larkin who is at $6.1 million in average annual value (AAV). He will be a veteran presence and a significant upgrade for a team that finished with a league-low 39 points and allowed the most goals overall. In addition, the Red Wings acquired a second-round pick in 2021, which adds to their rebuilding effort as well.
Rangers Handing the Blue Line to the Youth
By shipping out Staal, it signals a changing of the guard on the defence. He was their longest tenured blueliner with 13 seasons of service and ranked sixth all-time in games played. Now their most veteran player on the blueline is former Red Wing Brendan Smith at 31-years-old. They will now be led by Adam Fox, Anthony DeAngelo and Jacob Trouba who are all 26-years-old or under.
The Rangers also gave up a draft pick in the deal for “future considerations” which will be determined later. It will be interesting to see what the deal ultimately looks like in the end, but right now they free up $5.7 million in cap space to a team that is clearly rebuilding and need help getting to the cap floor before next season. It’s hard to imagine them not using the extra space to go after a free agent like Alex Pietrangelo or Torey Krug when free agency ultimately gets going on Oct 9.