The 23-year-old defenceman is a restricted free agent and looking for a raise, something the salary-cap strapped Rangers might not be able to afford. Rumours abound the Rangers are considering trading the Thunder Bay native rather than pay him the US$4 million he’s thought to be asking through his agent Bobby Orr.
“There hasn’t really been too much going on,” Staal said Tuesday when asked about the situation. “I’m not really (allowed) to talk too much about it. There’s nothing really to report on it other than what’s been written.”
Not wanting to upset any apple carts, he said ideally he’ll be patrolling the blue-line at Madison Square Gardens once again this fall.
“I love playing in New York and at Madison Square, and hopefully something will get done soon,” he said.
It sounds like Rangers GM Glen Sather is of the same mindset, at least publicly. Staal’s ability to move is hampered by the NHL’s collective bargaining agreement, which states another team can sign the blue-liner, but then the Rangers have the opportunity to offer him the same deal.
“Obviously we want to get Marc Staal signed,” Sather is quoted as saying on The Bleacher Report. “If someone comes along and gives him an offer sheet, which is always possible, we’ll match it. But we are going to keep negotiating with him.”