New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal has proven himself to his coaches and teammates. He is a needed commodity on the blueline.
As the New York Rangers season began last October, many believed that Marc Staal would not make it through the year as a top-six defenseman. Alain Vigneault even mentioned that Staal might not have a roster spot on the first day of training camp.
Fast forward to April, and you will see that Marc Staal is the only starting defenseman on the team over the age of 25. He is the veteran defenseman helping the kids evolve on the blueline.
As the Rangers have begun the rebuild, It is evident that Marc Staal is needed on this team. The 11-year veteran still has a lot to offer and hopefully, it will be to the Rangers next season.
Alain Vigneault likes what Staal has to offer on the ice and to the new kids on the Ranger Blue line. He told Justin Tasch of the New York Daily News,
“I really like what he’s bringing to the table,” Vigneault said. “You need some veteran presence in your lineup for example for some of the younger players, and on ‘D’ right now he’s really fulfilling that role. Not only has he played well, but he’s a good voice for the younger guys to hear. He’s been very upbeat, very positive, and I really like his demeanor.”
There is uncertainty about the status of Staal this offseason, but he still has three years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $5.7 million. The Rangers know they will need their share of veterans in the lineup to help the kids get through the rigors of an 82 game season.
Marc Staal considers the Rangers his second family.
“It definitely is like home,” Staal says. “I’ve been fortunate, for sure. Not a lot of guys can say that. Very lucky.”
Stall spoke to reporters saying, “They’re a lot of talented young players” on the team. (via the Rangers twitter)
“They’re a lot of talented young players.”
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) April 2, 2018
He will be watching the playoffs for the first time in the last eight seasons. Not a situation Stall will enjoy, but he hopes to get another opportunity to make the playoffs with the Rangers so that he can show more of that veteran leadership next April.