The New York Rangers love landing the big fish, and that description certainly applies to Eric Staal.
Here are the official details, via the Rangers:
Rangers get: Eric Staal.
Hurricanes receive: Aleksi Saarela, plus two second-round picks (one in 2016, the other in 2017).
Reporters filled in other details regarding the move.
To little surprise, it sounds like the Hurricanes will retain a big chunk of Staal’s cap hit:
The Rangers keep spending big for short-term gains that could bring long-term pain. The Rangers only have one pick in the top two rounds of the next two drafts: their first in 2017.
It’s difficult to forecast where Staal fits in among the Rangers forward, but when everyone’s at or near full-strength, it would certainly be fun to see him line up with Rick Nash.
The Hurricanes swallowed a bitter pill in trading away the face of their franchise, ending an era that hasn’t been successful since Staal guided them to a surprise Stanley Cup victory.
(Side note: there’s nothing stopping Eric Staal from returning to the Hurricanes as a free agent this summer, however.)
Moving along, people are positive about Saarela’s potential.
Ultimately, the takeaway is all a matter of perspective.
The Hurricanes are bulking up on draft picks, if nothing else.
In an amusing twist, Eric goes from playing with one brother in Carolina (Jordan Staal) to another with the Rangers in Marc Staal.
It should be fascinating to see how Staal responds to this situation. Rangers fans will expect a lot, and he’ll deal with a ton of spotlight in New York. On the other hand, he can earn himself a ton of money and security if he helps the Rangers make a deep playoff run.