Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Marc Staal Situation

The summer is winding down and the Rangers and RFA Marc Staal have yet to agree on a contract extension. There hasn't been much news on the topic since Glen Sather was asked if there was a wide gap between the sides and he responded "“I wouldn’t say it’s a wide gap, it’s more like a chasm.”

E.J Hradek of ESPN Insider recently said:
I can't imagine any team swooping in with an offer sheet because of the simple knowledge that the big-market Rangers will match.
The problem however, can the Rangers match an offer sheet? Glen Sather did say earlier this summer “If somebody gives him an offer sheet, we’re going to match it.” Which in theory sounds great. But, with the additions the Rangers have made, do they have the cap room?

If the Rangers were to waive Wade Redden (as most NYR fans hope) and send Todd White to Hartford then that should clear enough space off the cap to make any realistic offer that Staal gets matchable. It's highly unlikely that any team is going to make an offer in excess of $4.5M and even if they did with those two salaries off the books, the Rangers would have about $6M available in cap space. No team in their right mind is offering Marc Staal $6M.

Realistically, it's safe to say Marc Staal will remain a New York Ranger, the question is how much longer will this contract negotiation stand off last and what kind of deal the sides can agree to? Ideally the Rangers are going to want a deal for at least three years, because once this next contract expires Staal will be an unrestricted free agent and he will be on the open market. Hopefully this ends sooner than the Brandon Dubinsky contract standstill last summer.

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