After an extremely disappointing season, Eric Staal is on the free agent market for the first time in his career and looking to rebuild his value. Tuesday afternoon John Shannon tells us that he has had interest from at least three or four teams to this point, and that Staal still considers himself a top-six center.
Staal, 31, put up less than 50 points for the first time in his career this past season, and saw his role diminished after a mid-season trade to the New York Rangers. A former 100 point player, he’s looking to catch on somewhere and prove that he’s not finished as an elite goal-scoring center as he enters his thirties.
While he’ll probably not look for a long-term deal, Staal still might get upwards of $5MM per season from a team banking on a rebound. If he indeed can make it back to the player he once was, a two-year deal would put him back on the market at 33, able to make one last long-term deal before retiring. In our recent top-50 UFA list we ranked Staal at 13, suggesting that the Islanders might be interested in the eldest brother.