2020 Rangers Offseason Henrik Lundqvist John Davidson Marc Staal

What John Davidson said on MSG about Henrik Lundqvist and Marc Staal

Rangers President John Davidson was on MSG and said:

  • On the Henrik Lundqvist decision, “Both players, when you think about Marc Staal and Henrik, we were sitting and talking about it as, combined, almost 30-years of service for the Rangers and both of them playing with a great deal of compassion, competitiveness, won a Presidents Trophy, have gotten to a Stanley Cup Final. These are the type of things you really have to weigh when you make these decisions, these are the hardest to make. You have to sit here and look at it and say, “we’ve gotta do what we have to do, the cap is different, it’s going to be flat for three-years, there are young people going through this build and everything adds up. All in all, it’s about what they did for the Rangers. They will always be Rangers, great Rangers. With Hank, when you are called the “King,” you are called that for a reason. We have good relationships with both players, we will continue that way and anything they need, we are there for them and we just have to keep moving, going north.”
  • On having a personal relationship with Hank, “the first time I ever saw Henrik Lundqvist play, it was at the training center, in training center, his first day. The media have a certain area at ice level, 30 feet from where Henrik is in goal, and I said to myself ‘this guy is good, this guy is really good.’ You could see it in the first five minutes and then he went onto an incredible career with the Rangers. When it’s goalie-goalie you talk a little about things here and there and when it gets down to these types of decisions, I really like that Hank asked me to go have a discussion with him, and we did. It was very honest with both people involved about thoughts and ideas and future and the one thing I really respected about what Hank said was ‘wherever this goes, I just want to make sure, whatever my decision is, that I don’t have any regrets. That is a great way of looking at things. With us, we have to make these hard decisions, it’s part of the business. I’ve thought about athletes in New York, Tom Seaver went on and left, Walt “Clyde” Frazier, a lot of great athletes in this City, some of them went on and played, Eli Manning didn’t play for another organization, some did. The player had to make that determination in his own heart and feelings and I know Henrik is going to really weigh things as he moves forward.”
  • Did you seek out any advice on what to do, “When you go through these decisions you try and weigh every single option that is available to us. You work with Hank, Hank works with his family, Hank has his agency that he works with and he believes in their help. Everyone gets together and makes this decision. We have Chris Drury here, Jeff Gorton here, the coaching staff, the owner, Jim Dolan, he has immense respect for Hank. All these things have to weigh and a lot of times you get a ledger sheet and go through pros and cons and just try to weigh them and make these tough decisions and hopefully they are right ones. All I know is, this organization and Hank, the marriage is still going. It’s an incredible marriage and when you think Rangers, you think NYC and what Hank has been able to do in NYC and the NY area, helping people, making life better for a lot of different people. That is something that will continue. The hockey part of it is changed right now but I think the big picture is what you try to look at. I have immense, really immense respect for what Hank has been able to do. He’s been skating here at the training center and taking shots with a lot of our young and older players who want to work on their conditioning and do things. Hank can come up any time he wants to the training center and work out, take shots. It’s still a good marriage.”
  • On what stands out about Marc Staal, “Whenever you talk about Marc Staal, the word that comes up with a lot of different people is ‘warrior.” He was a warrior, a lot of fans, I don’t think realize, when you play the way he did all those years, you play banged up and hurt and nicked up and bruised and some injuries that are tough. He toughed his way through all of those. He also, over this last year I got to know him a little better and what he meant to the franchise. There is leadership value there too and that is something he will always have as part of his resume, wherever he plays hockey or whatever he’s doing. He’s a good man, plays the right way, cares about people and he has that ability to be a voice.”
Marc Staal

Marc Staal traded to Detroit for future considerations

The Rangers have traded Marc Staal AND a 2021 Second Round pick to Detroit in exchange for “future considerations.”

From the Rangers:

  • John Davidson: “Marc Staal has been an exemplary hockey player, teammate, and person from the moment he joined the New York Rangers organization. A consummate professional, Marc’s perseverance and dedication to the game made him such an integral part of our organization. Marc, his wife Lindsay, and his children Anna, Emily, and Jack will always be a part of the Rangers family, and we wish them all the best going forward.”
  • Jeff Gorton: “I would like to thank Marc for everything he has given to the New York Rangers during his 13 seasons with the team. The success we had throughout Marc’s tenure, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Final, would not have been possible without his tireless efforts on and off the ice. The respect we have for Marc is immeasurable, and we wish him and his family all the best.”
  • Staal served as one of the Rangers’ alternate captains for 10 seasons (2010-11 – 2019-20).
    • Since the Rangers/NHL began to have players wear an ‘A’ on their jersey as an alternate captain during the 1985-86 season (after not doing so for approximately a decade), he was one of only three players who have either worn a ‘C’ or an ‘A’ as captain or an alternate captain with the Rangers for 10 or more seasons.
    • The only other two Rangers who have done so over the span are Brian Leetch (13 seasons – alternate captain from 1991-92 – 1996-97; 2000-01 – 2003-04, and captain from 1997-98 – 1999-00) and Mark Messier (10 seasons – captain from 1991-92 – 1996-97; 2000-01 – 2003-04).
  • Staal skated in 892 career games with the Rangers over 13 seasons (2007-08 – 2019-20), registering 43 goals and 145 assists for 188 points, along with a plus-46 rating and 432 penalty minutes.
    • He ranks sixth on the franchise’s all-time games played list, trailing only Harry Howell (1,160), Brian Leetch (1,129), Rod Gilbert (1,065), Ron Greschner (981), and Walt Tkaczuk (945).
    • Staal played in 471 games which the Rangers won throughout his tenure, which is the third-most for any player in franchise history; the only players who appeared in more games which the Rangers won are Leetch (515) and Gilbert (487).
    • Staal appeared in a game in three different decades with the Rangers (2000’s, 2010’s, 2020’s), and he is one of seven players in franchise history who have appeared in a game with the Rangers in three different decades, along with Frank Boucher (1920’s, 1930’s, 1940’s), Tkaczuk (1960’s, 1970’s, 1980’s), Greschner (1970’s, 1980’s, 1990’s), Leetch (1980’s, 1990’s, 2000’s), Mike Richter (1980’s, 1990’s, 2000’s), and Henrik Lundqvist (2000’s, 2010’s, and 2020’s).

Staal had one-year left on his contract with a cap hit of $5.7 million and waived his no-move clause to agree to the trade.

The Rangers are now slated to have just over $20 million in cap space, according to Cap Friendly.

Adam Rotter: It’s a pure salary dump for the Rangers and it cost them a second-round pick to do it. I expected Staal to be with the Rangers this season and would have guessed Brendan Smith would have been the player they attached a “sweetener” to move. The Rangers clearly preferred giving up the pick to buying him out and only clearing part of his cap hit for this year and adding extra money next year. The fact that they only received “future considerations” only furthers the notion that this was all about clearing out Staal’s cap hit and roster spot. Without Staal the Rangers lose their second-longest tenured player, one of their last links to the prior era of Rangers hockey and a big presence in their locker room. It also opens up a spot on the left side and a clearer path for Libor Hajek or K’Andre Miller. Tony DeAngelo could shift to the left side as well and his new contract would likely take much of their newly free cap space. The future considerations part of this deal will likely be a low level prospect that Detroit probably wasn’t going to sign, or maybe a 7th round pick.

Staal suited up 999 times, including playoffs, for the Rangers, was a constant on defense and a big part of why the Rangers had success under John Tortorella and Alain Vigneault. Ultimately though, Staal was robbed of being the player he looked like he was going to become by injury. First it was the concussion he suffered and played through that cost him the first half of the 2011-12 season and then eye injury the following year. He was an All-Star in 2010-11, right before the concussion, but never reached that kind of play again. He played in 70+ games, plus playoffs, from 2013-14 up until this past season, and logged a lot of minutes but was more of a steady presence than an impact player. He had an “A” on his jersey through three different coaches and his role as a leader and veteran presence will hopefully be felt for years to come through players like Adam Fox and Ryan Lindgren. It’s the end of an era for the Rangers and, while it was going to happen after this season anyway, another link to the past gone. With Henrik Lundqvist likely on his way out as well, Chris Kreider will become the longest tenured Ranger and the last link to the Ranger teams that went deep into the playoffs and contended for Stanley Cups.

Marc Staal

Marc Staal scratched against Tampa Bay

7:11PM: Marc Staal is going to be a healthy scratch tonight for the Rangers against Tampa Bay.

This is the first time in Staal’s career that he is a healthy scratch. (Larry Brooks)

Ryan Lindgren is in Staal’s place and will be paired with his former Team USA teammate Adam Fox. (Stephenson)

Adam Rotter: Staal has been struggling this season, looked slow and has been ineffective nearly every time the puck is around him. Still, the fact that Marc Staal is being scratched by the Rangers is a big deal. I don’t expect this to be long-term, especially if Brady Skjei continues to struggle, but once he’s been scratched once, it can certainly happen again. Staal, with his stature and tenure with the Rangers, being scratched also has to be a message to everyone on the Rangers that spots in the lineup need to be earned every day and that past performance will only take you so far.

It’s ironic that it’s tonight, on the night of Kevin Shattenkirk’s return and Dan Girardi’s pre-game honor. Staal is the last of that era of Ranger defensemen, though you could argue for Brady Skjei’s inclusion, and this will open up even more questions and discussion about his future. He has one-year left on his contract after this season but with all the dead money the Rangers already have on the cap for next season, buying him out is no sure thing.