Before I start, no, I did not include him JUST because his last name is Staal, even if I think it would be fun to finally have the elusive fourth Staal brother on the Hurricanes. Most Hurricanes fans are already familiar with Marc Staal due to his family ties. The Red Wings defenseman is of course related to Canes greats Eric, Jordan, and Jared Staal. The veteran recently played his 1000th NHL game and could be an intriguing piece potentially on the move at the trade deadline.
Marc was selected 12th overall in the 2005 draft, becoming the third member of the Staal family to be selected in the first round. Staal jumped straight into the NHL as soon as his OHL stint was over, making his debut for the Rangers in 2007. Marc started as a defensive defenseman for the Rangers and continued his development the same way. Marc began to play big minutes very early in his career, averaging 25:44 in time on ice a game during the 2010-11 season. Marc usually shelved more of a defensive role, his offensive production began to pick up, as he set a career-high in points in 2010-11 with 29 in 77 games.
Staal gained a lot of experience in New York, as his team made the playoffs 10 of the first 11 years he spent there. Some of those trips included deep playoff runs, as the Rangers made the conference finals in 2012 and 2015, and even made a trip to the Stanley Cup final in 2014, losing to the Los Angeles Kings in 5 games. His final playoff appearance for the Rangers came during the 2020 bubble, where he lost to his brother Jordan and the Hurricanes in 3 games. Marc was traded to Detroit alongside a 2nd round pick in what was a cap-dump move.
Marc’s career with Detroit hasn’t been too notable, but this year he has put up significantly better results than his last few seasons. Although 3 goals and 9 assists in 53 games may not look like a lot, he has generated a lot of offense for the struggling Detroit club. Although plus-minus is a largely silly stat, the fact he leads the Red Wings with +10 while playing in their top-4 has to be a good sign.
Marc does carry a $2 million dollar cap hit, and that could make things a little more tricky. If I had to bet, I do not think the price for Marc Staal’s services would be more than a low-round pick. If Carolina wants Detroit to retain half of his salary then they may have to give up a 3rd or 4th round pick, but nothing too ridiculous.
I am in no way suggesting that Marc Staal would make a huge difference to the Canes lineup, but you can never have enough defensive depth on the left side in the playoffs. Marc Staal is another player that has been so close before and is just itching to get over the hump. The 35-year-old is likely approaching his last chance at a ring.