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Rangers land Eric Staal in trade with ‘Canes

Dhiren Mahiban
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Eric Staal (Len Redkoles/Getty Images) Author: The Hockey News

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Rangers land Eric Staal in trade with ‘Canes

Dhiren Mahiban
By:

Carolina receives prospect Aleksi Saarela, and two second round draft picks in the deal.

Eric Saal is headed to New York. Rangers acquired the Carolina Hurricanes captain in exchange for prospect Aleksi Saarela and second-round picks in both 2016 and 2017,  the team confirmed. In order to facilitate the deal, Staal had to waive his no-trade clause. Staal, who joins brother Marc Staal, is in the final year of his seven-year, $57.7 million contract and set to become an unrestricted free agent in July. According to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the Hurricanes will retain 50 percent of Staal’s salary. The 31-year-old has 10 goals and 23 assists while averaging 19:17 a night in ice time in 63 games this season.  “Eric has been the face of this franchise for a long time, and we thank him for his dedication, leadership and many contributions on and off the ice over the years,” said Carolina GM Ron Francis in a statement. “We felt this was an important opportunity for us to continue our work in building an organization that can consistently compete in the Stanley Cup playoffs.” Staal had spent the past four seasons in Carolina with brother Jordan Staal, who discussed the possibility of the trade last week. “Whether it happens or not, it’d be pretty neat to see them (Eric and Marc) playing together as well,” said Jordan Staal per TSN’s Frank Seravalli. “I don’t really know what’s going to happen. “Brothers stealing brothers is not what I want to see, but at the end of the day, if that’s the way it works out, that’s the way it works out. To play alongside your brother and battle for two points every night, you pinch yourself every once in a while. It’s been really cool.” Saarela is a 5-foot-11 center from Helsinki, Finland. The 19-year-old was the Rangers’ third-round selection (89th overall) at the 2015 NHL draft. In 46 games with Assat of the Finnish Elite this season, Saarela has 18 goals and 13 assists. He also helped Finland win a gold medal at the world juniors last month scoring four goals and three assists in seven games. Originally Carolina’s first-round pick (2nd overall) in 2003, Staal has spent his entire 13-year career in the Hurricanes organization scoring 322 goals and 775 points in 909 games.
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Rangers land Eric Staal in trade with ‘Canes