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The New York Rangers should trade Staal because they need more help on offense, especially within their top six.
While Staal is a great defender who could really help the team this season and in the future, he has more potential value in trade.
The Blueshirts defense would take a hit, but it wouldn't be the absolute end of the world if he were moved. Klein was a top-four defender in Nashville, and it is possible that he could hold the fort down in the interim.
They also should trade him because it might not make the most sense to tie up a ton of money in Staal when you consider the money that is already invested in McDonagh and Girardi.
Staal is due for a raise from his annual salary of almost $4 million, and he may want more money than the Rangers are willing to dish out. In addition, there are a number of defensive prospects in the pipeline, and signing Staal would effectively push them back on the depth chart.
Dealing Staal would improve overall team depth and create a spot for someone already in the system.
Although he's a second-pairing defender in New York, he would be a No. 1 or No. 2 blueliner on other teams in the NHL. There are a number of clubs in the league that need a defender like Staal, and they would be willing to shed some offensive depth to acquire him.
A prime example would be the Edmonton Oilers. They are a team on the rise with tons of offensive talent, and while adding Nikita Nikitin and Mark Fayne was a nice start, they need one more blueliner.
Back in November 2013, the Edmonton Journal's Jonathan Willis speculated on a potential deal between the Oilers and Rangers that could involve Nail Yakupov and Staal.
Nothing has really changed, and it would be fair to think that the Oilers could still be interested in acquiring Staal.
Darnell Nurse, Oscar Klefbom, Martin Marincin and David Musil are all solid prospects that will be ready soon, but adding Staal would help the team now and in the future.
Staal would be an amazing tutor for these blueliners, and there's a chance he could help Justin Schultz as well.
Another reason for the Rangers to trade Staal is because he is getting older and there is a chance that he may only have a few good years left. It makes sense to move him before his value drops, and it makes sense to deal him while he is healthy.
Staal has played fine since returning from a concussion and eye injury, but there is no telling what could happen next season or in later years. It isn't that Staal is injury-prone, but it makes sense to move him while it is still possible.
What is Staal's value?
The 6'4", 27-year-old blueliner has solid value because he has a great contract right now and is a great all-around shutdown defender. In a trade, he could net a top-six forward, an NHL defender and a late draft pick.
He doesn't have a no-trade clause, which could help the Rangers deal him somewhere he would re-sign, because a team trading for him as more than a rental would be willing to shell out the necessary return.