After the 2021 NHL Entry Draft has come to a close, the attention turns to filling out the roster for the Detroit Red Wings 2021-22 season. They have filled a need already before free agency even kicks off this coming Wednesday.
Marc Staal and the Detroit Red Wings agreed to terms of a one-year, $2 million contract that brings him back to the organization. He is returning to the team’s defense core as a veteran who truly does fill a need.
Staal is a left-handed defenseman, something the Red Wings were going to want to bring in to add to the team’s defense core. They already brought in veteran Nick Leddy (also left-handed) in a pre-draft trade with the New York Islanders who projects to be on the top pairing alongside right-handed Filip Hronek.
With Moritz Seider, a right-handed shot expected to be in the team’s top-four this season, it gives them an option to put Staal on the same pairing as him. The team’s defense core is shaping out nicely and has plenty to like for the future, especially adding another big defenseman in Simon Edvinsson who was the pick at sixth overall in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft.
The Detroit Red Wings addressed a need with Marc Staal’s return.
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Staal, now 34 years old, is coming back to the team after he spent the 2020-21 season in Hockeytown. The Red Wings acquired Staal in a trade with the New York Rangers where they acquired draft capital in a sweetener trade.
That draft capital was then flipped to move up in the 2021 NHL Entry Draft to grab goaltender Sebastian Cossa.
Nonetheless, Staal is returning to the organization after a year under his belt in Detroit. Last season, Staal would score three goals and add seven assists for ten points over 56 games played.
The veteran defender is going to be playing in his fifteenth NHL season this fall.
The very likely fact is that he will likely be playing alongside the Red Wings pride and joy of defense prospects, Moritz Seider. As he makes his debut as mentioned above, he will likely be paired with a veteran to get his feet wet and learn the ropes of the NHL and Staal might just wind up being that guy.
It seems like Staal might be taking on the role of a mentor this season and in the process, he filled the need for the organization by being left-handed and being a more than serviceable option night in and night out in the 2020-21 season.
Plus, at the end of the day, there’s no reason to be upset about Staal returning. It costs $2 million and the organization has more than enough cap room to afford a $2 million cap hit on a veteran defender.