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Rangers, Staal agree to terms

by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Staal's Focus Returns to Hockey

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with defenseman Marc Staal on a new contract.

Staal, 23, skated in 82 games with the Rangers last season, registering eight goals and 19 assists for 27 points, along with 44 penalty minutes and a plus-11 rating. He established career-highs in goals, assists and points. He was one of four Rangers to skate in all 82 games, and has played in 202 consecutive games including the playoffs, dating back to February 19, 2008, at Montreal.

Staal led the team in average ice-time, logging a career-high 23:07 of icetime per game, and eclipsed the 30:00 mark twice including a Rangers season-high 30:45 of icetime on December 19 at Philadelphia. He ranked fourth on the Rangers in even strength points (27), and tied for third in blocked shots (97), fourth in road goals (seven) and fifth in road points (14). He also tied for second on the team and 12th among NHL defensemen with 178 hits.

Heading into his fourth NHL season, Marc Staal has established himself as one of the league's top shut-down defenders, routinely making life tough for NHL stars such as Detroit's Henrik Zetterberg.
Staal led all Rangers defensemen with a career-high two game-winning goals and a plus-11 rating, ranked second in goals and points and third in assists. Seven of his eight goals were tallied away from Madison Square Garden, including a career-high three-game goal streak (three goals) from March 30 at the Islanders to April 3 at Florida.

Staal tallied his first career multi-assist performance with two assists on January 31 at Colorado, and registered a career-high four-game point streak from November 27 at Tampa Bay to December 5 at Buffalo (one goal and three assists). He skated in his 200th career NHL game on December 26 vs. the Islanders.

The 6-4, 210-pounder has skated in 244 career NHL games in three seasons with the Rangers, registering 13 goals and 39 assists for 52 points, along with 150 penalty minutes. Staal established career-highs in hits (189) and shots (96) during the 2008-09 season, and was selected to participate in the NHL YoungStars Game at the 2009 NHL All-Star Weekend on January 24, 2009, in Montreal for the second consecutive season. As a rookie in 2007-08, Staal won the Lars-Erik Sjoberg Award as the top rookie in Rangers training camp.

He made his NHL debut in the season-opener on October 4, 2007, vs. Florida, and registered his first point with an assist on November 1, 2007, vs. Washington. In addition, Staal has skated in 17 career playoff contests, registering two goals and two assists, along with eight penalty minutes. He established playoff career-highs in games played (10), assists (two), points (three) and penalty minutes (eight) during the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Internationally, Staal has represented his native country in several tournaments, most recently skating with Team Canada at the 2010 World Championship in Germany. He registered one assist and tied for second on the team with a plus-two rating in seven games. Staal also captured back-to-back gold medals with Canada at the World Junior Championship in 2006 and 2007, and was named the top defenseman at the 2006 World Junior Championship.

The Thunder Bay, Ontario native was originally selected as the Rangers first round choice, 12th overall, in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft.
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