Rangers acquire Staal from 'Canes

– Eric Staal gets to play with another brother, and the New York Rangers are loading up for the playoffs.

The Rangers acquired the Carolina Hurricanes' captain and face of the franchise on Sunday.

In exchange for Staal, the Rangers sent center Aleksi Saarela, who is playing in his native Finland, to Carolina along with New York's second-round selections in each of the next two drafts.

Rangers General Manager Jeff Gorton said the Hurricanes retained a portion of Staal's $8.25 million cap hit, and have enough financial flexibility to add another "small-salary player if we wanted to."

The Rangers trail first-place Washington by 16 points in the Metropolitan Division standings.

"We felt like he was one of the best, if not the best, player available on the market to give us what we're looking for in our top nine," Gorton said. "And that's why we made the move."

Staal, 31, had spent his entire 12-year career with the Hurricanes, who drafted him with the second overall pick in 2003. He is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, once the final year of his seven-year, $55.75 million contract expires.

Staal leaves one younger brother, Jordan Staal, and will be united with another brother, Marc, who plays defense for the Rangers.


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