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.
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.