Experts react to Rangers acquisition of Eric Staal

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Eric Staal will take his hockey bag and talents to Madison Square Garden as the Rangers load up for a Cup run. Here’s some quotes from GM, Jeff Gorton and what the experts had to say on the deal.
[su_quote cite=”Blueshirts United” url=”http://www.blueshirtsunited.com/article/were-bringing-player-we-really?cmpid=nyr-soc-tw”]”One of the things we wanted to do was add to our team,” explained Gorton Sunday afternoon. “Our team is playing well and has played well for the past few months so we wanted to add some help in this one area. We’re bringing in a player we really like, one that can add to our group in a lot of ways, that has won, and is still a young player. He gives us an added dimension to make us a better hockey team and a tougher team to beat.”[/su_quote]

[su_quote cite=”Blueshirts United” url=”http://www.blueshirtsunited.com/article/were-bringing-player-we-really?cmpid=nyr-soc-tw”]”He’s been an elite center in the game,” stated Gorton. “He’s done a lot in the game, played with a lot of great players. I just think all of his experiences will help us. We’re looking at a player who can be energized by this trade. We are going to get a lot out of him.”[/su_quote]

Kevin Allen (USATODAY): Presuming Staal picks up his game, this deal does strengthen the Rangers up front, but it probably doesn’t significantly reduce the gap between the Rangers and Capitals. The Rangers’ hope of upsetting the Capitals, should they meet in the playoffs, will still rest on Lundqvist’s ability to steal the show.

Greg Whyshynski (PuckDaddy): It’s an aggressive move from a Rangers team that needed to add a significant piece – although one could argue there was just as much a need on the blueline. Staal makes them a heck of a lot more dangerous offensively, and as the Rangers have shown, that extra goal in the playoffs is sometimes all Lundqvist needs.

Joe McDonald (ESPN): This move is much more than uniting him with his brother, Marc Staal. Currently sitting in second place in the Metropolitan Division, the Rangers added another veteran presence on the ice and in the room. It’s also another complementary piece since forward Rick Nash — sidelined since Jan. 22 with a lower-body injury — is not expected to go on long-term injured reserve.

Allan Muir (SI): And this should prove to be a significant addition. Even in the midst of a career-worst season, Staal makes New York’s top nine a deeper and more talented group. It’s hard to say where he exactly fits in the Rangers’ lineup, but it’s a good bet he’ll skate on the wing, allowing Derek Stepan and Derick Brassard to hold on to the top two center spots. A Staal-Stepan-Rick Nash line would be a handful come playoff time, and would allow Alain Vigneault to drop Chris Kreider into a second-line role where he’d be more likely to succeed.