Friday afternoon, the New York Rangers and alternate captain Marc Staal were closing in on a six-year $34.2 million contract extension. Marc Staal, who was once the Rangers number one shutdown defenseman, has taken to being their third defenseman, behind Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi. He will receive $5.7 million per year in his new contract. The front office and Staal also agreed a full no-move clause during the first three years, and then a modified no-trade clause for the remaining three.
Staal would have likely received a pretty penny if he held out and tested free agency, but his heart is in New York. Head coach Alain Vigneault praised Staal as one of the “best defenders in the league” and this new contract proves that.
While Staal has not been on his “A” game since his concussions and eye injury, he is slowly getting his game back and during their winning streak, he played like the Staal Rangers fans know and love.
Staal is now 28-years-old and in his eighth season with the Blueshirts. Even though the offensive side of his game has declined, defensively, Staal has stood out as one of the best in the league. He is a plus six on the season and has shutdown the league’s top players along side McDonagh and Girardi.
He has been taken off the power play in recent years, but is still a key penalty killer for the Rangers. He is a key component to this team, and locking him up was a smart move for the front office. It also does not hurt that the deal got done professionally and quickly. It was not a long, dragged out process where both sides could not even come close to a deal. Staal wants to stay in New York and remain a Blueshirt for the rest of his career. He wants to win here and he does what the coaches ask of him night in and night out.