The news that we’ve all been waiting for was finally released today. After months of seeming intractable negotiations, the Rangers and Marc Staal have agreed on a five year contract that will pay him an average of $3.975M per year.
The timely signing means that when the Rangers open camp on Friday, they’ll avoid going into camp without one of their core players. The contract makes Staal the third highest paid defenseman on the team, behind Wade Redden and Michal Rozsival, and is a significant raise on the $875K he earned on average from his entry level contract.
It also means that Wade Redden is almost certainly moving to Hartford or elsewhere. With the signing, the Rangers are now hard up against the Salary Cap, and need to free up around $5M by the end of camp. Redden’s $6.5M would allow the Rangers to accomplish this, plus potentially add a couple of role players if necessary.
Likely amongst the candidates will be Garnet Exelby and Alexei Semenov, who will both be in camp on a try-out basis until Redden can be re-assigned. Fedetenko also could get consideration, and Glen Sather could also potentially make a trade that brings in a little more salary.