Blockbuster trade: Rangers get Eric Staal, Hurricanes look to future


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.

Senators goaltender Cam Talbot out 5-7 weeks with injury

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OTTAWA, Ontario — Ottawa Senators goaltender Cam Talbot is expected to be out five to seven weeks with what the team called an upper-body injury.

The Senators initially called Talbot day to day with what they hoped was a minor injury. Instead he’s now expected to miss at least the first month of the NHL season.

Ottawa claimed goalie Magnus Hellberg off waivers from the Seattle Kraken upon announcing Talbot’s expected absence. Hellberg, who played for Sweden at the Beijing Olympics could split time with countryman Anton Forsberg while Talbot is out.

The Senators acquired Talbot from Minnesota during the offseason to make him their starter after the Wild opted against bringing him back along with Marc-Andre Fleury. Talbot, 35, had a 2.76 goals-against average and .911 save percentage this season.

Losing Talbot is a blow to the Senators, who also acquired winger Alex DeBrincat from Chicago and signed longtime Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux as part of a move toward contending and ending their playoff drought.

Blackhawks’ Boris Katchouk sidelined by ankle sprain

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CHICAGO — Blackhawks forward Boris Katchouk will be sidelined for four to six weeks with a left ankle sprain, the team announced.

The 24-year-old Katchouk played almost 12 minutes during a 3-0 preseason loss to Detroit on Saturday night. He was acquired in a multiplayer trade with Tampa Bay in March.

The Blackhawks open the season on Oct. 12 at Colorado.

The team also said forward Jujhar Khaira is day to day with a right ankle injury.

Ducks’ Urho Vaakanainen crashes into boards, leaves on stretcher

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ANAHEIM, Calif. — Ducks defenseman Urho Vaakanainen was taken off the Honda Center ice on a stretcher after he crashed into the end boards in the first period of Anaheim’s preseason game against the San Jose Sharks.

The Finnish defenseman was conscious and alert with full movement in his extremities at UCI Medical Center, the Ducks said.

The frightening incident occurred midway through the opening period when Vaakanainen smashed into the boards at a dangerous speed behind the Sharks’ net. Vaakanainen appeared to be concentrating on the pass he had just made to Derek Grant, who scored the Ducks’ opening goal on the assist.

Vaakanainen’s teammates came onto the ice and gathered around him as he was taken away on the stretcher.

The Ducks acquired the 23-year-old Vaakanainen from Boston last March in the deal that sent longtime Ducks defenseman Hampus Lindholm to the Bruins. After recording two assists in 14 games for the Ducks last season, Vaakanainen is attempting to win a top-six role on Anaheim’s defense this fall.

Lightning donate $2 million to Hurricane Ian relief efforts

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TAMPA, Fla. — The Tampa Bay Lightning and team owner Jeff Vinik are donating $2 million toward Hurricane Ian relief efforts.

The NHL team announced that $1 million each will be donated by the Tampa Bay Lightning Foundation and the Vinik Family Foundation.

“This is a tragic situation for many families and communities across the state of Florida, but especially so in the southwest region of the state,” Vinik said in a statement released by the team. “In times like these the most important thing we can do is support one another, and we hope this donation will help families recover and rebuild in the months to come.”

Ian made landfall Wednesday on Florida’s Gulf Coast, south of the Tampa Bay area. The Lightning postponed two home preseason games and moved the club’s training camp to Nashville, Tennessee, during the storm.