New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal could be headed for unrestricted free agency next summer. The 27-year-old blue liner wants to stay in Manhattan, but there’s a snag in that plan.
The Rangers haven’t started talking with him about a new deal yet.
Staal’s agent Paul Krepelka tells Larry Brooks of the New York Post that while his client wants to sign a long-term deal to stay with the Rangers, the two sides haven’t had a discussion about it.
“There’s been no discussion at all, but I did get a call from Jeff early in the offseason telling me that they were working on their arbitration cases, so not to interpret it as a sign of disrespect toward Marc,” Krepelka told Slap Shots on Thursday, referring to assistant general manager Jeff Gorton. “I expect that we will be talking at some point before training camp.”
The last thing the Rangers need to do is lose one of their top young defensemen. Given how the Rangers took care of Ryan McDonagh, Henrik Lundqvist, and Dan Girardi recently, there’s not much reason to stress over them not getting something done with Staal.
If they somehow don’t get something done before next summer, things could get very stressful quickly. The Rangers will have Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin to get re-signed as RFAs and both Mats Zuccarello and Martin St. Louis are also UFA eligible.
As the Columbus Blue Jackets keep rolling, the Detroit Red Wings are probably just happy to get Friday behind them.
For the second straight game, the Blue Jackets beat their opponent 4-1.
They’re now on a five-game winning streak, and like the climbing St. Louis Blues, things look great if you go back a little further. They’re 10-1-2 in their last 13 games and 13-2-3 since November began.
The New Jersey Devils have been incredibly difficult to beat at home. Lately, the St. Louis Blues have been on a roll just about anywhere.
On Friday night, the Blues were the hotter team, handing the Devils their first home loss in regulation in 2016-17. And it wasn’t particularly close, with St. Louis winning 4-1.
It’s a convenient time to note that the Blues rank among the hottest teams in the NHL. Most recently, they’re 5-1-1 in their last seven games, but they’ve been especially impressive since they flirted with .500 at 7-6-3. Beginning with a 4-1 win against the Buffalo Sabres on Nov. 15, the Blues are on a 8-2-1 tear.
This leaves them second in the Central with a 16-8-4 record.
That’s impressive stuff.
This 4-1 win was quite the showcase for Robby Fabbri and Vladimir Tarasenko, in particular. Tarasenko collected three assists while Fabbri scored two goals on Friday night. His second goal was particularly slick:
The Blues are right in saying that this was a pretty fitting opportunity to drop a “Holy Jumpin.”
Minnesota Wild goalie Devan Dubnyk has been the most difficult goalies to score against this season. Leave it to a high-level player like Leon Draisaitl to make it look this, well, “easy.”
Draisaitl scored his 13th goal of 2016-17 by capping this pretty give-and-go play with Benoit Pouliot. You can see the frustration from Dubnyk at the end of the tally, as if he was saying “How was I supposed to stop that?” (though probably with more colorful language).
Draisaitl came into Friday with five goals and three assists in his last five games, so he’s been almost unstoppable lately.