Wild get a center — Eric Staal


Eric Staal still believes he’s a top-six center. Now he’ll get a chance to prove it.

Staal, 31, has signed a three-year deal with the Minnesota Wild for a reported cap hit of $3.5 million.

The Wild had been looking for a center. In fact, they were rumored to be interested in Edmonton’s Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. Signing Staal won’t cost them one of their good, young defensemen in a trade.

Depending how Staal plays behind first-line center Mikko Koivu, it might also allow Charlie Coyle to return to the wing in a top-six role.

The Wild also signed winger Chris Stewart for two years. The 28-year-old had eight goals in 56 games for the Ducks last season. He broke his jaw in February.

Related: Vanek isn’t ‘complaining’ about the Wild’s centers, but….