Rangers' Marc Staal is hoping for another team to extend an offer sheet


Thumbnail image for marcstaalrfa.jpgIf you’ve been wondering what the news is with New York Rangers restricted free agent defenseman Marc Staal, you’re not alone. Discussions have been quiet to the point of worry for many Rangers fans and it appears that Staal is now getting a bit unnerved with the lack of negotiations coming from GM Glen Sather. Staal is so frustrated with things that, according to Arthur Staple of New York Newsday, he’s hoping that another team will step in and sign him to an offer sheet.

While we’ve seen how the offer sheet can be used already this summer with Niklas Hjalmarsson being signed to one by the Sharks only to have the Blackhawks match it, the Rangers could be put in a similar situation by a team looking to acquire him. Thanks to CapGeek, we see that the Rangers are nearly $2 million over the salary cap and while rumors abound that defenseman Wade Redden will be sent packing to the AHL to free up room against the cap, Staal is still going to demand big bucks. He’s going to be 24 years-old in January and he’s going into his fourth NHL season as perhaps the best defenseman on the Rangers and one of the better ones in the NHL.

The Rangers say they’ll match any offer, but the longer the Rangers put off signing Staal, the more they’re letting another team potentially control their destiny as far as what they might have to do with their roster. If that’s a position Glen Sather is comfortable with, then kudos to him for being prepared for it. If another team itchy to add a great, young defenseman and has money to burn steps up though, you have to wonder just how prepared the Rangers are for that. After all, if I was Glen Sather, I’d be nervous knowing that Charles Wang is right down the road.

Oilers get Kronwall’d – in more ways than one

Niklas Kronwall
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When someone gets clobbered by Niklas Kronwall, they get Kronwall’d.

(His detractors may insist that the definition require the words “dirty” or “illegal,” but that’s a debate for another day.)

It’s easy to get lost in those thunderous hits and forget that the  Swedish defenseman also brings some skill to the table.

He made a big impact – literally and figuratively – in Detroit’s 4-3 overtime win against the Edmonton Oilers on Friday.

First, the Kronwalling:

Next, Kronwall’s overtime-winner:

It hasn’t always been pretty, but the Red Wings are leaning on guys like Kronwall and Dylan Larkin to stick with it.

Tonight’s win extends their point streak to six games (4-0-2), with five of those contests going to overtime.

Dubinsky – Crosby’s nemesis – gets the last laugh on Friday

Sidney Crosby, Brandon Dubinsky

Brandon Dubinsky isn’t a household name like Sidney Crosby is, yet for all the hype that Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin gets, Dubinsky is the sort of guy who truly rankles No. 87.

It’s been getting that spotlight since the Columbus Blue Jackets faced off against the Pittsburgh Penguins in a brisk playoff series, though it wouldn’t be surprising if the bad blood stemmed to Dubinsky’s days with New York.

To some, Dubinsky’s cross-check on Crosby will resonate far more than the end result of this game:

The bottom line is that he’ll get the last laugh, at least for now. (In-game, that moment merely drew a minor penalty.)

That’s because Dubinsky set up the overtime game-winner, and the cherry on the top of that spite sundae came with Crosby being on the ice when it happened:

They’re not just rubbing the Penguins the wrong way.

Even Dubinsky kind of sort of admits that he may have been in the wrong.


More and more, the Blue Jackets are looking like a nuisance … possibly one that will grind their way to an unlikely playoff berth. They improved to 8-4-0 in November after a disastrous 2-10-0 October.

In other words, there’s at least a chance that we may see these increasingly bitter rivals butt heads in another playoff series.

Eichel’s sweet snipe helps Sabres snap six-game skid

Jack Eichel
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The Buffalo Sabres probably deserved better during at least some chunks of their six-game skid, yet Jack Eichel swooped in on Friday to remind fans that there’s a light shining at the end of the tunnel.

You can watch his goal from tonight’s eventual 4-1 win against the Carolina Hurricanes in the video above.

That’s not necessarily the absolute height of his on-ice magic, yet it clearly gave his team a lift:

Call this a healthy reminder that Eichel has the ability to change games, something Buffalo fans hope to get used to.

Report: Likely no suspension for Matt Beleskey’s hit on Derek Stepan

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Alain Vigneault went there in comparing Matt Beleskey‘s hit on Derek Stepan to the notorious check Aaron Rome delivered on Nathan Horton many moons ago, but the league seems to disagree.

While Rome sat through that memorable Stanley Cup Final between Boston and Vancouver, it sounds like Beleskey won’t face any further discipline, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun.

In the unlikely event that anything changes, PHT will make note.

The next game between the Rangers and Bruins takes place at Madison Square Garden on Jan. 11. Will these bad feelings linger?