Will the Detroit Red Wings trade Marc Staal?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll mention it again; It’s amazing to me that Marc Staal is even in the trade conversation.
Yzerman took on Staal’s lucrative contract that was entering its final year but carried a $5.7 million from the New York Rangers that wanted it off the books to extend the likes of Artemi Panarin, Chris Kreider, and former Michigan Wolverine Jacob Trouba, who earns $8-million per season.
The Detroit Red Wings landed a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Entry Level Draft and Staal in exchange for future considerations.
The Red Wings have an abundance of cap space, so adding a second-round pick along with dressing Staal for a season was a no-brainer for Yzerman.
Upon hearing about the trade, I immediately expected Staal to be Jonathan Ericsson 2.0 at this stage of his career. Staal isn’t a great skating defender but has proven throughout the year to be able to put himself in far better situations than Ericsson. Staal doesn’t seem to get caught in the offensive zone nearly as much as Ericsson did, in turn, creating an odd-man rush the other way.
He’s also far more aware in the defensive zone than Ericsson had ever been. Staal was a very reliable top-four defender in his prime, and although he played as a top defender with the Rangers in the past, I feel he was best suited to be a second pairing.
Staal can bring some stability, leadership, and a physical presence to a playoff-bound team as a sixth or even a seventh defenseman for a team looking to add depth. Staal has three goals and seven points in 34 games this season for the Red Wings while averaging over 18-minutes per night.
The veteran 34-year old defender will have a market come Monday, even if it’s minimal. Whatever Yzerman can fetch in return for his services is a bonus and just a few short months ago unexpected.
A few teams that come to mind are the New York Islanders, Toronto Maple Leafs, Tampa Bay Lightning, Montreal Canadiens, and Boston Bruins.