Never-ending Staal to Carolina talk continues to make no sense

August 14, 2013, by

Marc has never said a word about joining his brothers in Carolina

Ever since Jordan Staal turned down a 10-year, $60 million contract extension from Pittsburgh last June, leading to a blockbuster draft day trade to the Hurricanes, Rangers fans have been panicked about Marc Staal’s desire to join his three brothers in Carolina.

Marc himself has never given us any reason to believe he’s anything but thrilled to be playing in New York, but it’s of course not a giant leap to think the four Staal brothers have discussed playing together.

With Marc set to be an unrestricted free agent in 2015, many nervous Rangers fans have suggested that GM Glen Sather phone Carolina GM Jim Rutherford and see what he can get for Marc now, well in advance of the end of Marc’s contract, before his trade value depreciates.

There are a couple of problems with this:

1) Marc’s value is probably at an all-time low right now. That could change quickly once the season starts, but as of now Marc is coming off a significant concussion that cost him the second half of the 2011-2012 season, followed by a gruesome eye injury that sliced Marc’s 2012 season in half and left him unlikely to ever regain full vision. All indications are that Marc will be ready to go at training camp, but right now he is damaged goods.  If the Rangers were remotely curious about dealing Marc, it’d be impossible to get a fair return.

2) Before his eye injury, Marc may have been playing the best hockey of his career. He was unquestionably New York’s best defenseman and was an invaluable member of the club. Though his health is now a major concern, it still makes little sense for a team that fancies itself a contender to deal away its best blueliner. Never mind the difficulty in getting equal value for a player as valuable to the Rangers as Marc – it was easy to see the gaping hole his absence left in New York’s rearguard last year (unless you thought Matt Gilroy deserved an extension…). Carolina won’t be giving up young star Justin Faulk, so there’s no way for the Rangers to move Marc to Carolina without destroying the carefully built roster.

There’s no denying that Carolina has to be considered a player for Marc in the next couple of years, but if Marc really does intend to bolt from Broadway, it’s very likely that he’ll communicate his intentions to Sather beforehand just as Jordan did in Pittsburgh. If that happens, then we can start talking about a trade in earnest. But until then, the Rangers need to continue to plan around their stud D-man as any top team would. Playing the what if game is a normal behavior during the dog days of summer, but Marc’s future is of little concern to Rangers brass right now, as it should be.


  1. Walt says:

    Let’s get this out front before anyone thinks otherwise, the Staals, and Marc are classy people, and would deal with the Rangers to get what is best for both parties!!

    I believe that he will some day want to play with his brothers, but until then he will bust his hump for this team, and do everything to win.

    On the other hand, we had the Sutter brothers play their careers without seeking each other out, except the twin, Ron, and Rich. Maybe Marc feels comfortable here, and likes the NY lifestyle. Not everyone likes the country way of living, and maybe the sisters in law may not be fans of each other. Time will tell, until then, we have Marc who is a quality d-man, and person, let’s all enjoy him while we have him!!

  2. DaNk75 says:

    I think “He was unquestionably New York’s best defenseman”, is a bit of a bold statement….he was playing great, and i hope he gets most/all of his eye site back and is a Ranger forever, but….

  3. Dave says:

    The fact is that the Rangers won’t deal a top-four defenseman signed to a very cap-friendly deal.

  4. darkbrewtoo says:

    Great article, thanks for breaking it down. Too much needless anxiety over this. When Staal starts talking wistfully about leaving, I’ll start getting nervous then. For now? I’ll wait to see how he recovers and how his play is affected in a full season.

    DaNk75, who else would you put into the best defenseman slot around that time period if not Staal? I’ve been a Girardi fan since he got called up, but he was better for playing *with Staal*, not the other way around. And McD obviously didn’t come fully into his own until being paired with Girardi. Staal wasn’t yet completely without flaw, but I’d say, pre-injuries, he was just about the best blueliner we had, no doubt.

  5. Matt J says:

    People are forgetting why Jordan stall left in the first place. Jordan is a very good center and he was tired being a number three center, behind Crosby and Malkin. That is why he wanted to move, not necessarily because he wanted to be with Eric. Marc will continue to get big minutes in New York, and as long as he remains a major part of the team, I believe he will stay.

    • Spozo says:

      I don’t think it was as much Jordan wanting to leave as it was Pittsburg wanting to move him. Pittsburg has like an $18 million cap hit per year in Crosby and Malkin already. There’s no way they could have afforded to keep Jordan and another $6 million per (that’s the contract he signed in Carolina). Almost $25 million per year cap hit on 3 centers would have been ridiculous so Pitt moved the guy. It was a decision based on money that The Penguins made, not what Jordan decided.

      Also, am I the only one that thinks Jordan is a bit overrated? He was a great third line center, when he was behind Crosby and Malkin on the depth chart. He then signed a 10 year $60 million contract.

      Fun little tidbit. His cap hit is 6 hundred K less than BRs yet he scored less points last season.

      • Centerman21 says:

        The Pens offered him a huge contract. He turned it down. Didn’t you read the page? He told you why Jordan left. He didnt wanna be a 3rd line center. He’s a top 6 talent. In 2010 when both Crosby and Malkin went down, he put the team on his back and almost beat TB in the playoffs.

      • HARLEMBLUES says:

        Who would you rather have.Tidbit.

  6. WilliamW says:

    Staal is a stud defenseman and will be a key part in NY for the upcoming year

    If Carolina offered Faulk for Staal straight up, would you make the move? I think I would

  7. Dave says:

    Marc Staal to Carolina for Jordan Staal! Screw with everyone’s heads!

  8. Frank Cerbone says:

    Why was “Marc Staal was unquestionably NY’s best defenseman” last season be4 his injury?

    You have already posted all sorts of statistical studies showing last season Girardi & McDonough played were our top 2 defensemen and that Staal & Del Zotto were 2 more closely together performance wise? That is your statistical studies, not mine. Although you fail to mention that Del Zotto spends more time playing his opposite side defensively and with poorer partners.

    You never see Staal playing with Gilroy, Bickel,
    or Eminger.

    • Dave says:

      Well since I know you won’t respond, I’m just going to post this for everyone else:

      Staal’s concussion came for the 2011-2012 season, so we have to look at the 2010-2011 season as the “season before the injury.”

      Staal – 1.602 Corsi Rel QoC, tops on team. 48.2% OZone Starts, 2nd worst on team. -.693 Corsi Rel QoT, worst on team (he played with the worst puck possession drivers, mainly due to level of competition faced).

      Let’s look at 2009-2010 Staal:
      1.494 Corsi Rel QoC, -.073 Corsi Rel QoT, 44.7% OZone starts.

      He was their best D before the injuries.

  9. Tim B says:

    And Carolina is in the same division as the Rangers now right? So why would they trade Staal to a team that is a good contending team? Too many good contenders in these new divisions. Whole point is, the Rangers need to compete with ledd contending teams if they want a good playoff seed or a seed at all