Unfortunately some depressing news to report on the first day of August. Restricted free agent defenseman Marc Staal is not getting any closer to agreeing on terms with the New York Rangers, reports Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants. The 23-year-old has been unsigned for exactly a month now and is not expected to ink a deal anytime soon. Sound familiar? General manager Glen Sather went through this process with Brandon Dubinsky last summer, which gives me some hope.
It doesn’t seem like getting Marc Staal signed will be one of those events over the next couple of weeks. From what I gathered yesterday, the sides are still far apart. This is also not a negotiation that will be playing out in public so, one day, Marc Staal will be signed. As I mentioned in my last blog post, John Tortorella is not looking to have Staal in training camp if the restricted free agent defenseman is not signed but Tortorella is "optimistic" a deal will be reached.
There have been all sorts of rumors and speculation floating around trying to explain why Staal has yet to re-sign, but I am not one to report things unless they are confirmed. So, as far as we know, there is something in the terms of the contract that the two parties are not agreeing on. Whether that be money, length or even both I am unsure. Personally I believe it is money and Sather will hold out until the last second before finally giving in. Again, exactly what he did with Dubinsky.
It would be a shame if Marc missed out on a good chunk of training camp and the preseason because of this. That is a player's time to start the engine up again after it has been shut-down for the summer. Staal may have to go elsewhere and do that on his own if he is not a member of club before camp begins in mid-September.
I am optimistic and think a deal will eventually get done and everyone will be happy. However, I have a strong feeling this will stretch out as long as it possibly can before they have to get something done.
What do you think? Say whatever your little hearts desire in the comments!