This is as surprising to me as it is to you.
When Yzerman traded for Marc Staal and a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, it was clear this trade was all about the draft capital. The fact the Detroit Red Wings may potentially be able to flip Staal as a rental third pairing defender for more draft capital is mind-blowing.
I’ve often referred to Staal as Jonathan Ericsson 2.0 mostly due to his lack of mobility in today’s NHL. I’m happy to report Staal has far over exceeded expectations.
The veteran defender has totaled 32 games this season with the Red Wings and has produced a Corsi For Percentage of 45.1 percent. That won’t jump out at you but don’t forget Detroit’s overall mark as a team is just 46%.
Staal has averaged 18:18 minutes of ice-time in 2021 and has two goals and four assists, totaling six points.
What can Staal provide a playoff-bound team?
A steady veteran with elite leadership qualities. Someone who won’t be rattled under the bright lights.
The first team that pops out is the Carolina Hurricanes. Jordan Staal captains the Canes. Although Jordan and Eric Staal played together in Carolina, Marc and Eric played together briefly with the New York Rangers, Jordan and Marc have yet to play together.
Is that a good enough reason to trade for Staal? No, of course not. The Hurricanes are a young, fun, run-and-gun team that could use a veteran depth penalty-killing sixth defender like Marc.
Staal is a pure rental, and while there is likely a limited market for his services, it just takes one team to have an interest. Yzerman won’t balk at any draft compensation for Staal’s services.