Detroit Red Wings: Marc Staal taking a veteran leadership role in 2021-22

(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
(Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Red Wings have announced their alternate captains this year, and they are trusting some veteran defenseman to take a leadership role. Marc Staal is joining Danny DeKeyser in being entrusted as one of this year’s assistant captains.

Staal has not been with the Detroit Red Wings for long, but he has been around the league for 14 years. After spending 13 seasons with the New York Rangers, Staal was traded to the Red Wings before the 2020 NHL Entry Draft in a sweetener trade that netted draft capital.

The Red Wings opted to use him as a veteran to lockdown a defense core that saw some injuries and required him to step up. Now, in 2021-22, Staal is looking to take a similar role and be a leader on and off the ice for this team.

With prospect Moritz Seider making the roster, it will be a great experience to learn from some of these veterans and see how someone like Staal, a long-time veteran, carries himself in a position of leadership.

Detroit Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal is taking a leadership role in 2021-22.

When you think of Marc Staal with the Detroit Red Wings, you don’t think of much offensively, but his role is one that will entail a lot of intangibles. Last season, Staal suited up for all 56 of the Red Wings games, where he scored three goals and added seven assists for ten total points.

He’s not going to score a bunch; he’s not going to have some offensive resurgence at this point; he’s a defensive defenseman who can do a job and do it well. He can also provide leadership and set an example for some of the organization’s younger players.

Bringing back Staal may not be some huge and impactful move, but the decision to re-sign him this offseason was a good one. On the morning of the 2021-22 season, taking a look ahead, it seems fair to predict that Staal may not do much on the stat sheet, but he will provide benefit to the Red Wings defense core.

While I am not surprised that Staal was considered and eventually rewarded with the assistant captain role, it was a little interesting to see someone like Nick Leddy being overlooked. However, he was a new acquisition, and the Red Wings may have wanted to stick with returning players.

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This season will not be a run for the Stanley Cup, but the Red Wings should be able to try and start focusing on the development of the future, and someone like Staal is going to foster that on and off the ice.