The New York Rangers traded veteran defenseman Marc Staal and a 2021 second-round pick to the Detroit Red Wings over the weekend in exchange for future considerations. The Rangers also announced the passing of former team captain Bob Nevin last week.
Staal played his entire career up to this point with the Rangers. The 6-foot-4 defenseman from Thunder Bay, ON appeared in a total of 892 regular-season games with the team and recorded 188 points with a career plus-46 rating.
Jeff Gorton, the Rangers’ general manager, had this to say about Staal: “I would like to thank Marc for everything he has given to the New York Rangers during his 13 seasons with the team. The success we had throughout Marc’s tenure, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, would not have been possible without his tireless efforts on and off the ice. The respect we have for Marc is immeasurable, and we wish him and his family all the best.”
It’s clear Staal meant a great deal to the Rangers’ organization. He’s sixth on the all-time games played list for the storied franchise. The Rangers won 471 games that involved the 33-year-old, which is third-most for a player in team history.
He was an alternate captain from the 2010-11 season and helped the Rangers to the 2014 Stanley Cup Final. Staal also helped them to two division championships and a Presidents’ Trophy with the league’s best record in 2014-15. He racked up 1,162 blocked shots and 1,308 hits in his 13 seasons with the Blueshirts, and the Rangers made the playoffs 10 times during his time in New York.
John Davidson, Rangers’ President and Alternate Governor said, “Marc Staal has been an exemplary hockey player, teammate, and person from the moment he joined the New York Rangers organization,” Davidson also said. “A consummate professional, Marc’s perseverance and dedication to the game made him such an integral part of our organization. Marc, his wife Lindsay, and his children Anna, Emily, and Jack will always be a part of the Rangers family, and we wish them all the best going forward.”
Staal has one year left on a six-year contract. He stands to make $5.7 million for next season with the Red Wings which the Rangers will gain in cap space. This may not go down as a blockbuster trade, however, it’s pretty clear New York made the move mostly for salary cap reasons and Staal will be missed.
Ranger’s Mourn a Former Captain
Bob Nevin, a former Rangers captain, died at the age of 82 in the early morning hours of Sept. 21. He served as captain of the team from 1965 to 1971 before being traded to the Minnesota North Stars. Nevin was traded to the Rangers from the Toronto Maple Leafs after the 1963-64 season where he helped lead the Maple Leafs to his, and their, second straight Stanley Cup. He was also runner-up to Maple Leaf teammate Dave Keon for the Calder Memorial Trophy in 1961 as Rookie of the Year.
In 1967, he helped the Rangers make their first playoff appearance in four years. He also led them to their first playoff series win in 21 years before he left the team in 1971. Nevin was considered an honest, two-way player and was held in high regard by both his teammates and fans as alike.
Nevin retired from the Edmonton Oilers of the World Hockey Association during the 1976-77 season after suffering a broken collarbone 13 games into the season. He played 19 seasons in the pros and 18 of them in the NHL. Nevin lived in the Toronto area after he retired and is survived by his wife Linda.
The Rangers had this to say via their official Twitter page, “The Rangers are saddened to learn of the passing of Bob Nevin. A captain and fan favorite during his tenure with NYR, his honest, two-way play and leadership earned him the respect & admiration of teammates & fans alike. Our thoughts are with Bob’s wife, Linda, and his family”
Scott Blair is an author and journalist from Los Angeles, CA, by way of Detroit, MI. Uniquely diverse experiences have shaped Scott’s life in both of those places he calls home. He is now traveling the world, learning and growing as a human and a writer. He was a professional hockey player and then turned to the arts, becoming an actor for about 15 years. His passions turned to poetry, prose, politics, and journalism when he got tired of the Hollywood machine and what it represents. Scott is available for interviews and welcomes questions and topic ideas.