The Rangers announced today that they have come to terms with the last of their major restricted free agents in Marc Staal, signing him to a new 5-year deal, reportedly worth $19.875 million, which works out to be a $3.975 million cap hit per season. Negotiations lasted for the better part of the Summer, but with only a couple days before camp, the deal was completed and there will be no worries of holding out or not showing up at camp.
In 2010, Staal had himself a pretty good year with the Rangers, scoring 8 goals and adding 19 assists in all 82 games for the club. That ranked him 2nd on the team in blueline scoring and 59th in the league among blueline scoring.
As one of the more up-and-coming defensemen in the league, Staal should be able to pick up more points with a more potent Rangers offense, making him into a very worthy pick-up in any fantasy league, be it a keeper league or just an annual league.
This signing does raise a few eyebrows about their concerns with the salary cap ceiling. With this signing, this will bring the Summer roster (which will be posted again with the training camp roster soon) up to 23 players with an annual cap hit of $63.9 million. The Rangers have no buyouts or penalties on the books, so they just have to worry about the actual cap hits this year. There is still plenty of speculation how they will find their way down below the ceiling, including thoughts of sending Wade Redden down to the minors to avoid the hit of $6.5 million.