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Rangers Make Big Deadline Splash, Deal For Eric Staal

Eric Staal

Eric Staal


For the third consecutive year the New York Rangers won the trade deadline with a huge get designed to put them over the top for a long playoff run. This year’s big acquisition has a familiar name and a wonderful NHL history — Eric Staal is the newest member of the Rangers and a terrific trade deadline snag for the team.

Eric Staal, the older brother of Rangers defenseman Marc Staal, has skated in 909 NHL games in his career, all for the Carolina Hurricanes. During that time he put up 322 goals and 453 assists; most importantly, he averages a point per game in the playoffs with 19 goals and 24 assists in 43 post season games. That stat alone should make him a very popular Ranger come playoff time. (And of course Eric also won the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006.)

Eric has struggled of late with the Hurricanes, but the Rangers hope that the change of scenery and the ability to shine in the playoffs will rejuvenate him. He’s only 31, so there is still plenty left in the tank — plus he’s playing for a new contract next year as well, giving him all the incentive in the world to prove to the Rangers and to the NHL that he’s still in his prime.

As for what the Rangers gave up in the trade, it wasn’t that bad. Early reports indicated that the Hurricanes wanted a first round pick in exchange for Eric but the Rangers talked them down from that. The final swap ended up being two second round picks – 2016 and 2017 – and Aleksi Saarela, the Rangers third round selection from 2015.

This was a necessary move for a team with an ever-decreasing window of opportunity to win and whose deadline deals in the past two years have resulted in successful seasons and deep playoff runs. After trading for Martin St. Louis in 2014 the Rangers went on to go to the Stanley Cup Fina and after acquiring Keith Yandle last season they won the President’s Trophy and came one win away from a return trip to the Stanley Cup Final.

Only time will tell what happens to the Rangers this season but they are a better team today than they were before they got Eric Staal. And hey, two Staals are better than one!

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