Chasm- A deep, steep-sided rift, gap or fissure; a gorge or abyss; A large difference of opinion.
That was the word used to describe the current negotiations between the New York Rangers and RFA defenseman Marc Staal by general manager Glen Sather, reports Steve Zipay on twitter. Sather even went as far as to deny that there is a wide gap between the two parties.....
"Not a wide gap, a chasm"
If that is coming straight from the general manager's mouth, a GM that usually does not reveal much as far as inside situations go, we have no choice but to fear what will happen to Marc Staal's future in New York, if there is any.
More after the jump.....
I have repeatedly stated that the Blueshirts' top priority right now is to get Staal re-signed, because before that happens, they really do not have much room to make any blockbuster moves, or ones that will at least work towards improving the lineup. I am deeply afraid we are going to see a dragged out battle between the Rangers and Staal this summer, much like we saw with Brandon Dubinsky prior to the start of the 2009-10 season.
Marc Staal is this club's top defenseman and will continue to be this club's top defenseman. He was a first round gem that the organization has cherished ever since he made the jump from the Sudbury Wolves to the Rangers. "He's the real deal" was a common statement I heard leading up to his rookie season on Broadway. Many times when you hear something like that, you are left disappointed and unsatisfied; Marc Staal is the real deal and I haven't been disappointed and I haven't been unsatisfied. He is every thing I could've wished for in a defenseman and to see him slip from this team would be extremely devastating.
Glen Sather has a history of not wanting to pay restricted free agents the money that they ask (i.e. Brandon Dubinsky) because he knows he has the upper hand in the negotiation and uses that to his advantage. There is a reason that most players who become unrestricted free agents end up leaving the Rangers every year; Slats does not have the advantage, he isn't willing to pay the bucks, so the player takes off and gets that money elsewhere.
Staal is a whole different story, though. Sather may be on top here, but Staal has a legitimate reason to argue. Sather should give in here and give Marc the money he wants. That is what I see happening in the end, otherwise this will turn ugly.