Over the past few days, we’ve covered the need for a bottom-pairing defenseman here, here, here, here, and here. Suffice it to say, we think it’s a glaring hole that none on the current roster can adequately fill for a Stanley Cup contending team. But yet, despite that glaring hole, many think that the Rangers should trade Marc Staal for reasons that we will get to below. It just boggles the mind. Here are a few of the reasons why people think the Rangers should trade Staal:
1. He hasn’t been the same since his concussion.
This was absolutely true last season. Staal was clearly off his game when he returned for last year’s Winter Classic, and his struggles followed him right through the playoffs. That said, he was still able to be a big minutes eater in the postseason, and there’s nothing to lead us to believe that he is still having issues from his concussion. We think he’s going to be a major difference maker this year. It’s been a year since his return. He’s had some obvious rust, but let’s give it at least five games before you say his brains are mush.
2. He has brothers in Carolina and obviously won’t re-sign with the Rangers.
Wait…the Staals are brothers? I had no idea.
3. His contract is expiring and he won’t re-sign with the Rangers.
Staal has two more years at $3.975 million per season. He’s one of three Rangers signed past next season. He’s not going anywhere.
4. He wants to play with his brothers.
Maybe he doesn’t. Maybe he likes New York. Maybe he wants to set himself apart from Eric and Jordan (Jared doesn’t count). Maybe he realizes that the Rangers are much closer to a Cup than the Canes.
5. Some combination of 1, 2, 3, and 4 means the Rangers want to trade him…to fill a defensive hole?
Well this just makes zero sense.
This ridiculousness has actually gotten to the point where an entire musings post was dedicated to it. Bottom line: The Rangers would be ill-advised to trade Marc Staal at the moment. He plays a too-important role on this team, and dealing him would be a gigantic step backward. Can we end the crazy talk now please?