Could Lack of Cap Space Lead to Staal Trade?

A blog post has been making its way around Rangersland lately about whether the Flames should pursue Marc Staal.

While on the surface, it seems like an absolutely ridiculous premise, especially when the author wonders if the Flames can "grab him for pennies on the dollar." But is it really that far fetched?

Flames Nation points to Staal as a potential target because of the Rangers current cap situation along with the former 2005 first round pick's recent rash of serious injuries and his drop on the Rangers depth chart…

"Marc Staal seems to be the best option. He has battled significant injuries over the last few seasons and seems to be slipping down the depth chart. Staal broke into the league as a capable defensive defender after being chosen 12th overall by NYR in 2005, but has since lost his spot on the top pairing to Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi…Staal's value to the Rangers has been significantly lowered by the emergence of McDonagh and Girardi. Outside of a shut-down role and given his price point, Staal isn't terribly useful because he is fairly limited offensively (although he has spent some time on the PP and scored more than five goals twice in his career). He would be a decent enough 2nd pairing anchor for a guy like Del Zotto, but at $3.97M per year (with the real dollars escalating to $5.45M by 2014-15), it seems a steep price to pay for Sather and company, especially given their current budgetary needs."

…it's always hard to hear the truth about a home grown guy, but I have to say I agree with a lot of what is being said here. Even if Staal is able to prove in the preseason that his injured eye is not a deterrent, I think he is someone who could be expendable if the Rangers find themselves needing cap room this season.

…for as good as Staal has been with the Rangers, and make no mistake he has been good, I'm always left wanting more. Maybe I just expected too much from a 12th overall pick who was supposed to be the best Rangers two-way defenseman since Leetch, but let's face it, his offense has never materialized and there have been way too many nights when he has not been the shutdown the defensman the Rangers needed him to be. I mean, would you seriously put him in the same category as the top shutdown guys in the league such as Chara? Injuries have obviously marred his development the last two years, but even before the concussion I never really felt Staal's game improved from year to year.

…Girardi and McDonagh's play the last two years have destroyed any chance Staal might have to crack the top defensive pairing for the Rangers, making his contract not such the bargain it once was and one that Sather could be willing to move if the right offer came across his desk.

…if you look at what the Rangers problem has been the last five years, it's been on the offensive end. The power play specifically. And obviously Staal has been one of the culprits as he hasn't sniffed a 10-goal season in his career while scoring a measly six total power play goals in his 388 games as a Ranger.

…so I ask you this, if the Rangers find themselves needing cap space after the Stepan signing and the Flames dangled a top prospect like LW Sven Baertschi or even a 25-goal scorer in LW Curtis Glencross, who has two-years left at $2.55M per, for Staal do you honestly feel Sather wouldn't seriously contemplate that offer? Just remember, the Rangers didn't lose to the Bruins because they gave up too many goals it was because they didn't score enough?

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