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.