Marc Staal
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Marc Staal knows that winning is the ultimate goal for the New York Rangers—and nothing is going to change that. Not even loyalty to long-time players.

Despite having a 13-year relationship with the New York Rangers, veteran defenseman Marc Staal knows that the Blueshirts’ loyalty isn’t to him, but to winning.

Staal made this quite clear in an interview with the New York Post‘s Larry Brooks.

“I’ve been here long enough to know that the Rangers are always going to do what they think is best to put a winning team on the ice. I don’t think that’s going to change.The loyalty is in trying to win the Stanley Cup, and that’s the way it should be”

Over parts of 11 NHL seasons with the Rangers, Staal has seen the team make moves involving several key players in an attempt to bring them closer to a Stanley Cup. From longtime teammate and former captain Ryan Callahan to Cam Talbot, Derick Brassard to Derek Stepan, they were all shipped out of town with one goal in mind—the Stanley Cup.

“I don’t think it’s about loyalty to any one individual or a group of players,” Staal told Brooks. “I don’t think it’s about owing anyone anything.”

He knows that this is a business. But he also knows that the Rangers can control whether or not they sell at the trade deadline. “If we play well as a group and win some games, maybe that could change some people’s minds about who we are” Staal added.

This is not an impossible task for the Blueshirts, who come out of the All-Star break having lost three of their last four games. They currently sit one point out of the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference and just three points back of the New Jersey Devils for third place in the Metropolitan Division.

Staal understands what the Rangers are all about. He’s been here long enough to fully grasp that. If the team decides to go in a new direction this year, it’s only because they think they can win next year.

Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.