NEW YORK – Jeff Gorton made his first big splash as New York Rangers general manager and acquired forward Eric Staal from the Carolina Hurricanes. For the second straight year the Rangers made their major move 24 hours before the deadline.
Staal, 31, had to waive his no-trade clause in order for the deal to go through. One reason he likely did this is that the deal reunites him with his brother Marc.
In exchange for Staal the Rangers gave up two second round draft picks in the next two drafts (2016, 2017) and third-round prospect, Aleksi Saarela.
Saarela, who tore up the World Junior’s, was a prospect the Rangers could afford to give up. The key parts here was the Rangers kept their current roster intact and were still able to acquire a veteran forward with a Stanley Cup ring. The Hurricanes, also retained 50 percent of Staal’s remaining cap hit ($4.2M) which keeps the Rangers under the cap ceiling.
The Rangers made their splash by bringing in a key top-nine forward with experience who can help on the power play and more importantly be a key part to the win-now mentality for the Rangers.
Staal will be in the line-up Monday when the Rangers host the Columbus Blue Jackets. When speaking to the media via conference call the first year GM said, “We’re looking at a player that we think could be energized by this trade. We see the numbers. We scouted him a lot. I think we know the player as well as anybody. “
“We think we put him into our team, surround him by some of the pieces we have, that we’re going to get a lot out of him, and that he’s going to be energized to come to New York and play for the Rangers.”
Staal has just ten goals and 33 points this season but Gorton is confident this trade will give him a spark and help the team go on another lengthy playoff run. Staal also brings leadership served and as captain of the Hurricanes.
He will be an unrestricted free agent at season’s end but the Rangers are focused on the present. When asked if this is also a future part of the team Gorton said, “I think we’ll take it as it goes here.”
“We’re acquiring him to help our team get better today and see where it takes us and then on a going forward basis we hope it works out real well for both and we’ll talk then. He’s a Ranger for today and we’ll see what happens. We’re acquiring a player to play for us [Monday] and we’ll go from there.”
Gorton indicated they still may be in the market for a small salaried player before Monday’s 3PM deadline to fill out the depth of the team. According to generalfanager.com they can add up to $1.1M in salary.
There will certainly be a buzz Monday night at Madison Square Garden when Staal takes the ice in a Rangers jersey for the first time wearing his familiar number 12.
The Rangers hope that he will be a key contributor to another long playoff run.