by Patrick Hoffman on 09/08/10 at 04:55 PM ET
UPDATE 2: From Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants:
Perhaps some good news on the Marc Staal front as an NHL source told me today the Rangers and the restricted free agent defenseman are getting “closer” on a new deal.
When I asked the source whether the issue was more length of contract, as I’ve been speculating, or the money aspect, the source replied, “It’s always about the money.” However, it still seems like length of contract was a negotiating point as that ties into the money aspect. As stated before, Staal likely wants a shorter-term deal so he can get to unrestricted free agency quicker while the Rangers likely would like to lock their No. 1 defenseman up for a longer period.
(Update) A second NHL source has confirmed that progress has been made between the sides, though there’s no timetable for actually coming to an agreement. Source wouldn’t rule out a deal getting done tonight but also wouldn’t rule out it taking another week or so.
UPDATE (Reported after 3 p.m.): From Cassie Campbell via Twitter:
The Fan 960 in Calgary reporting that potential deal for RFA Marc Staal unlikely but still investigating
Who do we believe?
EARLIER: According to Mike Brophy of Sportsnet.ca, the New York Rangers and RFA defenseman Marc Staal are close to reaching an agreement on a contract.
This would obviously be welcome news to both the team and its fans. Staal has been the team’s best defender ever since joining them during the 2007-08 season and he continues to get better every year.
If Staal signs a contract within the next few days, he’ll get to participate in all of training camp to get ready for the upcoming season.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
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