Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Marc Staal Is Part Of The Plan To Stabilize Detroit's Defense

01/03/2021 at 8:28pm EST

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

General manager Steve Yzerman brought in three new faces, trading for Marc Staal and signing free agents Troy Stecher and Jon Merrill.

Staal, 33, was an especially savvy addition. He adds the experience of having played 892 games for the New York Rangers; he’s a hulking 6-foot-4, 209 pounds and plays like it. After the initial shock of being booted by the only NHL team he’s known — and a heart-to-heart with Yzerman — Staal has embraced the opportunity to help stabilize a team that finished last season in 31st place.

“It’s been a good couple weeks,” Staal said Sunday. “I came down with my family around the 15th and had Christmas here. They’re back home in Connecticut right now. It’s been a lot of fun coming to the rink. The last few days have been tough practices; guys work hard, some good energy around the rink. I’ve really enjoyed it. I’m excited to be here and be a part of this thing.

“I’m looking forward to getting through camp and getting the season off on the right foot.”

Three days into camp, Staal has been partnered with Patrik Nemeth, a 6-3, 228-pound stay-at-home type. The two could draw top shut-down duties. Staal is a physical guy who likes to battle in front of the net, and Nemeth is a strong guy who makes smart plays.

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