The New York Rangers officially traded for Eric Staal on Sunday for two second round draft picks and prospect Aleksi Saarela. Obviously, getting Staal is good for the Rangers. He will be a good offensive asset for them during their push for the playoffs, and for their first Stanley Cup since 1994. With his first game in the books, LWOS is taking a look at the Eric Staal trade.
Eric Staal Trade Analyzed
When the trade broke on Sunday, fans immediately went to the fact that the Rangers gave up two more picks and Saarela for a diminishing forward who will be a free agent at the end of the season. Although they gave up more draft picks, this trade makes sense for the Rangers. He is a solid center and has a very good ability to win face-offs. Along with that, Staal can also play on the wing, and with Derick Brassard and Derek Stepan filling the top two center spots, it is hard to see him playing third line center.
The Eric Staal trade wasn’t really a surprise to many people. There had been rumors of a trade for weeks before the deadline. What was a surprise, is what the Rangers gave up for Staal, a veteran leader in the locker room, and a player who has experience winning a Stanley Cup and an Olympic Gold. Staal, 31, has 43 points in 43 playoff games.
The Hurricanes could have gotten way more than a couple of picks and a prospect. Ron Francis got rid of a diminishing player who may not have re-signed when he became an unrestricted free agent over the summer. Getting rid of Staal helps them begin a rebuild and make a younger team.
The Rangers are hoping that Staal is going to start putting up more points than he did in Carolina this season. In 63 games for the Hurricanes, he had 33 points (10 goals, 23 assists). With Rick Nash coming back from injury, and Staal in the lineup, the Rangers will hope the offensive production starts to increase as the playoffs get closer.
The Rangers have now won five out of their last six games. Staal was average in his first game on Monday night, but that is to be expected in your first game with a team after being traded. He had one practice to get used to his new team and new system.
New York is desperately trying to win a Stanley Cup. In the last two years they have made it to the Stanley Cup Final and to the Eastern Conference Finals. Giving up more prospects is frustrating for fans and could be a problem as they don’t have a draft pick in the first two rounds of the 2016 draft. If the Rangers make a run for the Cup this season, general manager Jeff Gorton will seem like a genius. If they get knocked out early, it will be a long summer and Gorton will have to take a look at his team and his lack of draft picks in next season’s draft.