If 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.