Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/21/14 at 11:30 AM ET
from Katie Strang of ESPN,
The Rangers’ sturdy back end was a huge component in their playoff success last spring, when they made a run to the Stanley Cup finals against the Los Angeles Kings. Anton Stralman signed with Tampa Bay in free agency, but Leetch would like to see much of that defensive corps remain intact.
Priority No. 1, of course, is signing Staal to a new extension (his agent, Paul Krepelka, told ESPN.com via email that “all quiet on that front right now”). Though Staal has been hampered by a string of serious injuries in recent years, he returned to form with a strong performance in the 2014 playoffs.
“I think it’s really important to have that group of guys back there. I add Girardi in the mix as well, just the stability and familiarity, and the personalities. They're very good teammates in locker room, good people, and they have that continuity, plus the ability to perform on the ice in front of Henrik Lundqvist,” Leetch said.
“My fingers are always crossed that Marc can stay healthy because he’s on the verge of getting to that next level. Obviously, that’s my hope for him and I think he’s an elite player with the ability to be a top D in the league if he can continue to play and get those reps.”
more including comments from Leetch on working for the NHL disciplinary department...
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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