Archive for Marc Staal
After a tough loss against Vancouver, the Rangers continue their west coast trip tonight in Edmonton. Between late games and a somewhat erratic, feast or famine schedule, I have some scattered thoughts…
1) Can you believe we are past the 1/3 mark of the season already? I am of the mind set that the first third is for evaluating your systems and personnel, the second third is for making adjustments and the final third is for making that push toward the playoffs. Injuries to Kevin Klein and Derek Stepan have thrown something of a wrench into that plan.
2) Speaking of those injuries, they have really wrecked havoc on AV’s deployment and line management. I understanding you are without one of your top-six centers and top-4 defensemen. That would be a serious issue for any contending team. The concern I have is that it seems like AV is putting a greater focus on trying to find lightning in a bottle with his line combo’s than he is trying to find a reliable balance.
Per the official Rangers Twitter, defensemen Marc Staal and Dan Girardi and forward Mats Zuccarello will be held out of training camp activities for the first week. All three had offseason procedures (Staal – ankle, Girardi – bursa, Zucc – brain/skull), so it’s not surprising they will be held out. I’d expect they rejoin after the first round of cuts, which is usually comprised of the kids getting sent back to juniors.
Alain Vigneault has said all three will be ready for the start of the season.
Update (5:20pm): To address the goaltending question, both Cam Talbot and Henrik Lundqvist were way above league average in adjusted goals saved above average (adjGSAA) which by definition compares goalies and, “as definitively as possible, regardless of circumstance, and in consideration of the tools we have and the variables we can actually account for, Goalie A is performing better than Goalie B.” Since these two goalies are above average, we can assume that they bail out their defense on high-danger shots on a regular basis.
Throughout this golden era of Rangers hockey, a period of time in which we have seen the most consistent success from the Rangers (still missing that one essential piece though), their vaunted defense has been the subject of much praise. That was until very recently, about the mid-point of two seasons ago, when the Rangers faced a critical decision with Dan Girardi. They re-signed their franchise defenseman, and then re-upped Marc Staal the following year. This locked up two core pieces for what could be the remainder of their careers.
Some quick notes that broke over the weekend:
- Marc Staal had surgery to remove a bone chip in his ankle last week, he is expected back for opening night.
- Dan Girardi also had surgery for a bursa excision. He is also expected back for opening night.
- The Arizona Coyotes had their sights set on goalie coach Benoit Allaire, but Allaire turned them down, preferring to stay with New York as part of a long-term approach. Allaire has worked with Henrik Lundqvist and Cam Talbot to great success, and will be working with Mackenzie Skapski as well.
- Jeff Gorton appears to be the heir apparent to Glen Sather, if he steps down. The Rangers denied the Maple Leafs and Bruins interviews with the Assistant GM.
- Ryan McDonagh had a fractured foot, suffered in Game 4.
- Dan Girardi sprained his right MCL in Game 4.
- Mats Zuccarello had a brain contusion (yeesh), full recovery expected. He was unable to talk for 3 days and needed speech therapy.
- Marc Staal had a hairline fracture in his ankle, suffered in the regular season.
While injuries are not an excuse, these injuries certainly played a role in the Rangers’ defensive performance in the latter half of the series.
I’m spoiling you. As I head to New York myself on Tuesday morning I thought I would muse for the second time in a week. Sometimes we go weeks without ‘musings’ sometimes I have a lot I want to say so let’s jump into it.
Marc Methot gets 19.6 million, makes Ottawa make Glen Sather look savy. I too am absolutely sensitive about Marc Staal’s contract. He comes with a huge health warning and will probably never be the truly dominant player he could have become but Marc Methot getting close to 5m a year makes Staal’s deal look more than fine (health allowing). Staal has more offensive upside than Methot and teams also pay for numbers.
If they’re comparable defensively it’s probably only because Staal has had a couple so-so years recently. In addition, Methot may be one of the few top four defenseman around the league that is even more injury prone than Staal. The price for defensemen continues to get out of control.
The Rangers may be quiet at the deadline through no fault of their own. Many of their apparent targets are gone. Santorelli is in Nashville, and a few players linked to the franchise like Patrick Kaleta are injured past the deadline.
With the All-Star Game coming up this weekend, we’ve been handing out our annual midseason grades. Dave tackled the goaltending and coaches, Chris wrote about the top-six forwards, and today I’ll be reviewing the defense.
Boyle’s season got off to a slow start after the 38-year-old D-man missed the first five weeks of the year with a broken wrist. But in my eyes, he was brought here to do one thing – fix the power play – and that’s been a resounding success. Does Boyle deserve all the credit? Definitely not. But he has made a major impact moving the puck quickly and decisively on the man advantage, and he’s been better in his own end than I expected. Boyle has been deployed in the offensive zone whenever possible, but he’s made that positioning count by helping the team direct rubber at the opposing net at a terrific rate.
The decision to let Anton Stralman go in favor of Boyle may haunt the Rangers for years, but for the short term, I’m pretty comfortable with the tradeoff.
Grade: A- Read More→
In case you missed it, the New York Rangers re-signed Marc Staal to a six-year, $34.2 million contract extension yesterday, ensuring the top-four defenseman remains on Broadway for most, if not all, of his professional career. Ranger fans are torn over this. Some are ecstatic that the Rangers kept one of their cornerstone defensemen, others aren’t too thrilled about another long-term contract, and the rest are downright upset because Staal isn’t a #fancystats possession darling. Not even us here at BSB agree on it. Chaos! Human sacrifice! Dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria!
It’s no secret that Staal has had a bit of an odd career arc thus far. Without rehashing that entire post (which you should read), Staal was nothing short of brilliant up until 2010. He was then paired with Dan Girardi, and his #fancystats suffered. There is some noise here, as Staal was also used as the primary shutdown defenseman –with Girardi– that year, the first time in his career. Regardless his #fancystats suffered, but his offensive output actually went up because he was being used on the powerplay.
Following up on the report this week, the New York Rangers and defenseman Marc Staal have agreed to terms on a six-year contract extension worth $34.2 million ($5.7 million per year). The deal will have a no-move for the first three years, and a limited no-trade for the last three years.
Folks are comparing this to the deal for Dan Girardi, and I disagree. Yes, it’s a big contract for a defenseman that doesn’t contribute much offensively. However Staal brings more to the table than Girardi, at least in my opinion. There will be a post breaking this down coming later this week.
Per Larry Brooks, the New York Rangers and Marc Staal are closing in on a six-year deal between $5.6 and $5.9 million per season. The deal will take Staal through his age-34 season. The Rangers have somewhere around $20 million in cap space for next year, depending on the actual cap number, and Staal’s contract will eat up at least 25% of that space.
Staal has been a fixture on the Rangers blue line since the 2007-2008 season after the Rangers traded up to grab him in the first round of the 2005 draft. Injuries marred his 2011-2013 seasons, and we’ve done some analysis on his very odd career arc. Some here think an extension is a bad idea, others a good idea. I’m on the fence, but I don’t like six-year deals for someone who isn’t a guarantee.
Update: Pierre LeBrun has noted the deal will have a full NTC in the first three years, and a partial NTC in the last three years. The deal will also have a full no-move clause, pertaining to waivers.