Thoughts following the Marc Staal trade

A “blockbuster” for the Rangers last night, as they sent Marc Staal to the Detroit Red Wings in a shocking trade. The Rangers sent Staal with no salary retained to Detroit, with a 2021 2nd round pick, for future considerations. The trade came through on Saturday night, a little before Game 5 of the Stanley Cup Final. It was obviously a shocker for the entire fan base. As per usual, I have some thoughts.

1. The trade is a salary dump. That’s it, and there is nothing more to really analyze there. The Rangers cleared the full $5.7 million cap hit. This was something completely unexpected, as all offseason plans had assumed Staal’s full cap hit would be a part of the team. This opens many options, as the Rangers now have over $20 million in cap space to work with this season.

2. If the Rangers still go through with the Henrik Lundqvist buyout, they will have a little over $23 million in cap space. It’s assumed that at this point, the Rangers will throw a lot of money at some of their RFAs. While still unlikely they re-sign all of them, it looks like at least one will be getting the bag.

3. This could also ensure the Rangers retain Jesper Fast, who might have been a cap casualty without clearing more space. Both Fast and the Rangers want this to work out, and this likely guarantees that he stays with the team.

4. Another thing the Staal trade does is opens up a roster spot on the left side of the blue line. As of now, it’s Ryan Lindgren and Brendan Smith. There will be a competition for K’Andre Miller and Tarmo Reunanen. This assumes the Rangers keep Smith. He still has value in a flat cap era.

5. This is the big thing here – the Rangers have a once in a lifetime chance to capitalize on the flat cap. They are one of only a few teams that can still spend money when no revenue is coming in. They’d prefer to keep salaries down, of course, but they have the ability to pay everyone. That’s important, and it puts them in a situation to take advantage of the internal budget teams. It’s why Staal was able to be traded.

6. I don’t think they go for UFAs, specifically Torey Krug. I think this opens up options for trades. I’m adamant about Vince Dunn, but the Rangers always have something up their sleeves that surprises us. But the one thing we do know is that this is a precursor to something else in their plans. As to what – we don’t know yet.

7. A thing about Staal’s no-move clause, his no-move clause was for demotions to the AHL only. He had a limited NTC, and apparently Detroit wasn’t on the list. Thus, his NTC didn’t matter for the trade.

8. On the list of things we expected the Rangers to do this summer, a trade of Marc Staal was at the bottom of the list. It was always a possibility, but to actually pull it off is shocking.

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    • Yeah, Hajek wasn’t mentioned in the article, but gotta figure he gets another look on left D now. I liked what I saw in his very brief stint with the varsity two seasons ago, but he often looked overwhelmed this past season.

      • The brief stint was great, but he has been just plain bad – even in the AHL – since then. He’s the opposite of Ryan Graves, maybe because of the mistake made on Graves.

  • great trade… cap retention and how many more draft picks do we really need? We are ready…set….go……Time to strengthen the D and get a big quality centermen….LGR!!

  • I think Hajek would have the inside track over a Reunanen … and Miller would best be served by some time in the AHL playing 20+ minutes a night. Robertson might surprise us as well.

  • First – thank you MS for 13 yrs of professional service. Signing Fast is first benefit of trade. Smith will be retained as we don’t have many LD on roster and they will want to clear his $$ this year. Lemieux and DeAngelo will be re-signed. Their toughness and grit is irreplaceable. The remaining holes (2C, LD) ??? Strome, Miller, ….. I trust Gorton to choose wisely.

  • I just did a Cap friendly of trading Smith for a bag of pucks, buying Hank out, signing ADA long term, signing Strome to a one year deal, signing Lemiuex and Georgiev to 2 year deals, adding Lafren, and trading for Lindholm from the Ducks, and it all works with cap space to spare.

    And that’s with $12M of dead cap space this year.

    • Tony,

      That’s borderline irresponsible and you know it.

      Your son, Trouba and JGs unhealthy obsession with RHD is how we got in this mess!

      If your play is to put ADA on the left side (chuckle), then ok. He has played LD before (and even wing).

      As a 3rd pair, hes too expensive. You’re better off trading him (and Georgiev) in a package for a 2C or a 1st pair LHD

    • Two players who would be very solid additions at a decent cost would be 1- Marco Scardella from the Blues via trade and pair with Trouba on the first pairing. 2. Sign UFA Matt Nieto, left winger to play on the 3rd or 4th line who is a very strong on the PK and would not cost a lot.

      If Fast is re signed, you have two wingers throughout the lines who can play on the PK and would be two of your better defensive wingers. 3. Need a another grit player to go with Brandon.

      I am 50/50 Strome is retained, another move is coming to acquire a center in my opinion.

  • Their toughness and grit is irreplaceable….Not enough Jerry……JD and JT have to identify and either trade or sign for another grinder that can play some hockey……We are too soft…….

  • No one mentions Mathew Robertson as a LD this year. He had a very strong year in juniors and may surprise at camp.

        • Marco Scandella- only making 3 mil per season and has two years left on that deal at 30 years, would be a great bridge until Miller, Roberston and if Hajek and land a spot this year while Miller and Roberston get some time in Hartford before making the jump.

          Scandella would stabilize that first pairing with Trouba.

      • Depends. If you cant guarantee Miller top 4 min, the put him in Hartford…..if there is a Hartford…

      • Robertson has really only played against kids, so he hasn’t even had a chance to start that part of his development. Let him adjust to playing against bigger, stronger competition for a while – no reason to rush him.

    • I mean, if the competition is for 3rd pair minutes then…..Robertson has an edge. They will (and should) want to give Miller top 4 minutes.

      If they do keep ADA and do move him left, then that’s what we are really talking about. 3rd pair minutes.

    • I mentioned him … his play at camp last year really opened up my eyes to him. He might be more “ready” for the NHL than Miller, although the greater upside probably resides with K’Andre.

  • Some random thoughts

    reading the Bruins are interested in Buch. Wonder if we go there and move Buch for a late first from Boston plus a guy like Trent Fredric who fits the tough guy who can play some . Perhaps they really live someone in the part of the draft where they need to have two first rounders to move up?

    Hajek will get a great chance to step up and prove he is legit. Hasn’t shown it yet.

    Tarmo Reunanen isn’t an NHL prospect.

    Like I said above , Robertson might be closer to sticking than Miller so it should be interesting.

    Only 8 days to go till we draft our future captain!! Very excited. Kid reminds me of Crosby. Let’s hope!

    Hoping for a trade up to get the following in this order


    If they add another first with a Buch trade and don’t trade up

    JJ Paterka
    Ridley Grieg

    Also hope they are able to find a legit number 2C be it by drafting Lundell who is NHL ready or a trade.

    We have over 20 million and could have as much as 23.3 million when they buy out Hank.

    That’s it for a Sunday afternoon.

    Go Giants!!!

      • Good question 😀. Not a fan of his upside or hockey IQ.Great skater has a bit of a physical element but not a big fan of his game.

        • I hear you, but I’m a fan. 😉 Clearly I would grab a kid like Lundell over Holloway, Zary as well, probably Mercer … but I’m not 100% convinced about the others. Besides, I’m leaning towards a big Center unless someone is more than “questionably” better.

          If Boston is interested in Buch, that gives me some pause. Boston is one of those teams that knows what they are doing … if you told me AZ was interested, then I would make a trade for sure. lol I still think we should keep Buch one more year — not sure that Kakko, Kravtsov, Gauthier are all ready to step up … and if we resign Fast (now that money has been freed up), I’m not sure we won’t still see him in the Top 6.

  • It’s too early to pencil in any of the Rangers young promising dmen into the lineup. The Rangers will sign a depth dman to a short term deal.

    • Possibly but I think they go for a top 4 LHD in trade. ADA makes the most sense as the chip to trade. Might be for a fellow RFA. Tampa does make sense.

      • They can’t afford their own, so how do they afford a guy like ADA (whom they drafted and discarded)? They’ll resign Sergachev well before an ADA.

        • It depends on what they have in system.

          You cant judge or knee jerk react. As I’ve heard it, they have more depth in system on the left, than the right.

          And it was a suggestion. What is nuts is people thinking:

          A) the Rangers are gonna trade Trouba or move him.

          B) ADA is gonna displace Trouba or Fox.

          JG made this mess. Hes gonna have to clean it up.

          • I don’t think he made this “mess”, I think ADA exceeded expectations this year as well as Fox (in terms of the speed of his development). This isn’t a mess, it’s a good problem to have … also Lundkvist looks like he was a really good late 1st round pick up, adding to the pressure on the right side.

            Re: Sergachev, he’s a bona fide 1st pairing LD talent — I don’t care what you have in the system, you want to lock that up … he’s a bird in hand and a real good one … but I guess stranger things have happened.

          • A) the Rangers are gonna trade Trouba or move him.
            Gene: No Trouba is not going anywhere right now
            B) ADA is gonna displace Trouba or Fox.
            Gene: ADA most likely will be moved for a Left d-men or part of a deal for a center man.
            JG made this mess. Hes gonna have to clean it up.
            Gene : Glen Sather- Long term deal with over 5 to mil per (Girard, Staal), and Gordie Clark- Lias Andersson pick at #7 and other picks going back as far as the draft when Cam was traded to the Flames. Sather and Clark made the mess expect the Smith contract extension.

  • I would really like to see a Dunne trade and I believe we have the pieces and because they’re looking to keep their Down maybe even throw in the second first round that we have, if Anderson keeps playing the way he is definitely going to increase his value, we have the pieces to make a deal like that and now we have the money

  • While unloading some additional dead cap space, like they just did with Staal, Rangers should give Hajek, Robinson, and Miller a chance before trading for a LD. If they have any young centers with talent, the same for them. Now is the time to bring in the kids. Don’t trade Buch. Sign Fast, Tony and Lemieux. Get some additional sandpaper via FA or trade.

  • This was a good move. Considering the price Toronto paid Carolina to buy out Marleau, we got value here. It’s hopefully a late round second and our prospect pool is strong enough we won’t miss this pick. I think they are going to add someone new to the D, but more a stop gap than a long term option. We do have solid D prospects but no point in rushing any of them. I won’t rule out any of them making the team, but won’t be surprised either if none of them make the team out of camp. Pass on Torey Krug. He’s not what we need. It wouldn’t surprise me if they divert to Martin for some input on this personnel decision(s).

  • If they can trade Staal, they should be able to trade Smith.

    As for the late first round picks–I like Greig. Only 5’11 and 165–will need to bulk up. Sounds like he is a great skater with speed a high motor and an SOB. Can play center too.

  • Just want to say he was a warrior, good teammate and person. The injuries and the speed of the game just caught up with him.
    This one trade (thank you Stevie Y). Gives us a chance to sign our RFA.
    If we can work more magic with Smith and/or Hank. Then we can address our biggest needs, LD,2C and bring in more toughness.

    • The eye and the ability to interpret what you’re seeing at lightning speed is what killed Staal. He was never going to be confused with an offensive d’man, but before that injury he looked to be a shut down 1LD with 30+ points in him. Shame really.

      At this point I would keep Smith for his versatility — but definitely need to resolve the Hank situation. We really don’t need more cap space right now (unless a big trade is brewing).

      • Agreed 100%. I honestly think they will keep Smith (versatility) Trade at the deadline..
        For Hank, I’m hoping for retirement, I wouldn’t mind a trade. I don’t want to see a buyout.
        I think they do have something of substance on the trade front,Staal Trade came with lightning speed.

        • I think Hank ends up as a buyout — which gives us another $3M+ in cap space. I doubt JG wants to give up more good draft picks, with the 2nd they probably shot their load … besides, not sure we would need more cap space than that tbh.

          • I just hope he’s not bought out! Franchise goaltender thrown to the curb, I don’t like or want it. I know it’s a business.there has to be a better way.

            Just a gut feeling I have, they might attach the 2nd no.1 to him to have a team to absorb the hit or relieve us of 50%. Not ideal..

            Then maybe we can pull off a major trade, or sign someone to an offer sheet.
            Sergachev, Cirelli.

            Just my thought.

          • Except an offer sheet means moving a lot more draft picks — and the fact we just moved the 2nd for next year tells me this isn’t going to happen. No way they attach that 1st rounder this year to dump salary when it isn’t an absolute necessity.

            The better way is for Hank to see the writing on the wall and retire. It’s tough for star athletes in the twilight of their career, but better to go out on a positive. He knew what he was getting into when the letter came out a couple of years ago and he flat out stated he didn’t want to be moved — and that was the time he should have been moved, but out of respect for him we didn’t press the issue.

            This is the result — not good for him, not good for us. No good team wants him, even at half price — and he won’t go to a shite team. Buyout is going to be the only way —- and I bet that’s what forced JG to move Staal with a 2nd, because Hank stubbornly refused to retire (not that I blame him, it’s a lot of money to leave on the table) and free up $8.5M in cap space. Add Staal’s cap hit and what we save in a buyout of Hank and you get a little more than his $8.5M cap hit off the books.

          • You could be right. But, if they have something else substantial on the table,and this is the only way to aquire a legit LD,Center they might do it.
            Time will tell which way this falls.

            Like we all say,retirement is the way to go. Just don’t think he will do it.

            To me buyout is classless, we did something similar years ago, by trading Giacomin to Detroit..

          • Or Eddie Johnstone suddenly replacing Rod Gilbert in the lineup; he did score 2 goals btw

  • As a Red Wings fan I’m calling it right now Red Wings and Rangers are trading 1st round draft picks this year and this was part of the deal that is going to make that happen.

    • Um, huh? Which of our 1st rounders are you talking about? I mean it has to be our 22nd, no way they’re giving up the 1st pick except for a King’s Ransom … and you only have the 4th pick, which you would be CRAZY to give up for Staal, a 2nd and the #22. No, future considerations is almost always meaningless and inconsequential.

  • This absolutely a great move by the Rangers.

    With that being said, raise your hand if you get nervous when the Rangers head in to an off-season with a ton of cap space available.

  • Crazy…

    Seeing the past become the past… But it’s all for the good of the new… New York Rangers

    That you for an really good career in the ice in the garden Marc.

    Good luck with the next part of your hockey career…

    You’ll always be in our hearts and minds as a really good garden favorite for many seasons.



  • THE best thing they could have done. He was sooooo far past his prime, and was at BEST a very mediocre defenseman!! I am thrilled, and have been a Ranger fan since the early 1950’s… GREAT move.

  • I would think that if the Rangers worked with Staal on where he would be traded to, this is closer to his hometown of Thunder Bay and if he hates it there, he only has to play one year.
    I guess he won’t hate it because as bad as he has been, Staal is still probably the best defenseman currently on the Dead Wings Roster. Certainly on the left side, if not the entire defense. So barring a trade for an elite top pairing Dman (who will wanna play there?) he’s likely gonna play 25 mins a night in Detroit or wherever next years bubble is located.

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