New York Rangers Eric Staal Returns to Carolina


The New York Rangers, Eric Staal, and his Return Home

So if you didn’t know that the New York Rangers traded for Eric Staal about a month ago, I feel bad for you, but on the other hand, I am glad to inform you.

Eric Staal, as explained in the video, won a Stanley Cup with Carolina during his tenure as captain with the Canes. He played there for 13 years before being traded and also played three seasons with one of his brothers during that time. This Thursday will be Staal’s first time back on the ice he once called home as the Rangers take on the Canes and moment like this always seem to pick at the heart of players who learn to love the city they once embodied.

For example, during this years trade deadline, Brooks Laich was traded from the Washington Capitals to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Laich spent over a decade with the Capitals and even though he never was a player you could compare to Ovi or Holtby, the city loved him. The worst part about the entire situation was Laich had been traded to the Maple Leafs on the Feb. 29th and on the March 2nd, guess what? He was right back in D.C. where a guy who played one of the most brutal sports known to man broke down in tears to a standing ovation.

This leads me to believe that Staal’s return to Carolina will be an emotional one. How these emotions will impact Eric’s performance Thursday night is beyond me. He may come out on the ice with a chip on his shoulder, looking to prove his ex-team wrong, which seems to be the mindset all Rangers have.

The tone throughout the New York Rangers locker room is and has been for some time now, clinch as soon as possible.

Currently, the Capitals are the only team that has been able to clinch a playoff position in the East and that must frustrate the Rangers organization. Just think, your team is in second place, not just in the division, but the entire conference and yet with only six games left to play in the regular season, you are still not guaranteed a playoff birth.

Two Staal’s are Better Than One

One thing that Eric has grown accustom to during his NHL career is playing with siblings. A rare and somewhat dream-like position to be in. Eric Staal played the last four years of his NHL career with a brother of his.

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In Carolina his younger brother Jordan was signed to a 10 year deal with Carolina. As soon as Jordan lost Eric, Marc gained him. Pretty convenient if you ask me. Eric gets traded away from his wife and kids to leave for the Big Apple, just to be picked up by little bro Marc at the airport. That has to make the coping process a little easier to deal with.

Why am I talking about how it must be cool to play with your little brothers in the NHL? Well, as awesome as it may be to play with them, I can imagine that playing against them would be something a little more difficult to manage.

Eric had played against Marc before while Eric was a Cane, but they never really got into it. However, Eric was a center and Marc a defenseman, they didn’t really cross paths all that much. On the other hand, Eric will be put in positions where he needs to check and tie-up with and hit his other brother Jordan. It should be interesting to see how hard they actually go at each other and it could get uncomfortable for their parents.

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Regardless, of rosters and family ties, the New York Rangers should be able to take care of the Canes, with or without Eric at his best. The Canes have struggled from time to time and although they have remained competitive after the trade deadline, they just don’t have the kind of team that can really push a top tier roster to the edge. New York has that top tier roster and they have finally started to play like it. With only six games left, it is important the Rangers win as many as they can. No one likes to enter the playoffs on a losing streak of any kind.