Mar 8, 2012; Ottawa, ON, CAN; New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal (18) in second period action against the ottawa Senators at Scotiabank Place. The Senators defeated the Rangers 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Speculation: How About A Marc Staal-Jeff Skinner Trade?

The Carolina Hurricanes need defensemen, they’re open to trading a former “untouchable player” and love the Staal brothers, so why not a trade based around Marc Staal and Jeff Skinner?

The Canes are looking for a top four defenseman that excels in the defensive end, which exactly describes Staal. The New York Rangers had trouble scoring in the playoffs, which Skinner can help.

Also, the Rangers would not be heavily affected by the loss of Staal. Their top four features Michael Del Zotto, Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi and with the

Jeff Skinner scored 13 goals and 24 points for the Hurricanes this season. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

emergence of John Moore, they are set on defense.

Staal makes just under $4 million for the next two seasons, while Skinner makes $5.7 million for the next six seasons. However, the Rangers have $14 million in cap space and are likely to buy out Brad Richards, who makes over $6 million a season.

The differing salaries should not be a problem as Skinner is signed longer and Staal will be looking for a pay raise in two seasons.

Before the Canes make a trade like this, they need to be sure they can replace Skinner’s offense. GM Jim Rutherford would like to draft an NHL-ready player in this year’s draft, but that player has to be capable of making an impact in the Canes’ top six. This could be possible with how deep the 2013 NHL Draft is.

However, there are things each team needs to use caution with, for both of these players:

For the Canes, Staal has dealt with concussions in the past and missed a good portion of last season due to a puck that hit his eye. Staal told ESPN at the end of May that he “does not expect his eye to make a full recovery,” but could still play in the NHL.

For the Rangers, Skinner had a great rookie season, but has not been able to duplicate that success in his two other seasons in the NHL. Skinner has also dealt with concussions throughout his career.

This is all speculation, but a trade that involves Marc Staal and Jeff Skinner would fit the needs of both teams and could be a viable trade.

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