The latest on Marc Staal and Michael Del Zotto, plus the latest on the Capitals. 

Will the Rangers start contract talks soon with Marc Staal?

Will the Rangers start contract talks soon with Marc Staal?

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports there’s been no contract talks so far between the Rangers and defenseman Marc Staal, who is eligible for UFA status next summer. Staal’s agent said he’s heard from the club, saying they were putting priority on their arbitration cases and not to interpret it as a sign of disrespect toward the blueliner. Staal’s intent is to re-sign a long-term deal with the Rangers and hopes to have a deal in place before the start of the season. Brooks believes the sooner the Rangers determine the cost of re-signing Staal the sooner they can decide to either re-sign him or trade him. If it’s the latter, Brooks feels they should do so sooner rather than later to avoid his contract status being an unnecessary distraction.

Brooks also reports one club claims former Rangers defenseman Michael Del Zotto’s reputation is in tatters following “his fizzle in Nashville”.  He feels this is a good time to buy low on Del Zotto and can’t believe the Islanders haven’t pursued him.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Brooks notes, it could cost $5.5 million per season for the Rangers to re-sign Staal. His injury history could factor into whatever decision the Rangers make with the blueliner…I suspect Del Zotto will have to accept a training-camp tryout next month to earn himself an NHL contract, which will be less (perhaps considerably so) from his $2.55 million salary of last season. 

WASHINGTON POST: Alex Prewitt reports the agent for enforcer Paul Bissonnette claims five or six teams, including the Capitals, have interest in his client. Mark Guy claims Bissonnette “wants to be in a position where he can compete for a solid fourth-line position and be a great team guy. He wants to be in an organization where there’s a chance to win”.

CSNWASHINGTON.COM: Chuck Gormley wonders if gritty left wing Dan Carcillo might be a good fit with the Capitals.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It sounds like the Capitals seek an affordable enforcer who can also play a regular shift at left wing on their fourth line. Given the choice between Bissonnette and Carcillo, the former might be the better option, as the latter has a reputation as a loose cannon.