Steve Zipay of Newsday is reporting that Rangers General Manager Glen Sather is describing the recent negotiations with the star defenseman Marc Staal, a restricted free agent, as "a chasm."
Obviously, this is not good. There should be absolutely no issues with these negotiations at all. But since the Rangers are very "tight-lipped" about issues like this, we have no idea of knowing what each side is asking. What I can tell you, though, is that Sather isn't very happy, since he very rarely makes public statements about issues like this.
Staal, who is quite easily one of the biggest draft successes of the Sather era (aside from Henrik Lundqvist), has been an integral part of the New York Rangers since he entered the league in 2007. Although he is one of the youngest defensemen on the team, he is easily the most savvy defenseman on the Rangers roster, and one of the more versatile.
Let's throw some numbers at you. At 23, he already has 244 games under his belt, with 13 goals and 39 assists in that time span. He has also played in 17 playoff games, putting up two goals and two assists. This past season was easily his most productive: In 82 games, he put up his best career offensive numbers with eight goals and 19 assists. While he hasn't been an amazing offensive weapon for the Rangers as of yet, his offensive game is really improving as he continues to grow. It's not completely insane to assume that he can be a 40-plus point player and shutdown defender in a few years ... or even next year if the Rangers start to find their offensive stride.
Basically, the kid needs to be re-signed. As I said before, I see no reason why this won't happen, but we really have no idea what's going on behind the curtain right now. Which is why you should keep it here for updates.
Regardless, Blueshirt Banter has a story on this and will provide constant updates on the issue as will we here.