The dominos are starting to fall for the Buffalo Sabres. Their losing streak is currently at seventeen games and it is time to unload some pieces for the rebuild. One of those players is Eric Staal. A few days ago, the Sabres traded Eric Staal to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a third and fifth-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft. I can’t even imagine how excited Staal must be to get out of Buffalo.
It is clear that Montreal feels like they are a contender this year. They have a great balance of skill and size to get the job done in the playoffs, but adding Staal makes it a lot better. After coming up short against Philadelphia last season, Montreal is looking to make it to the final for the first time since 1993. That is when Wayne Gretzky was still in the league. Sounds like they are sick of missing out on the Stanley Cup fun. Adding Eric Staal will boost their chances immensely.
— Canadiens Montréal (@CanadiensMTL) March 26, 2021
Eric Staal is a well-known name in the hockey world. He is most famous for his time spent in the Carolina Hurricanes organization but has been on three teams since. Those teams were the New York Rangers in 2016, the Minnesota Wild from 2016-20, and the Buffalo Sabres this season. Staal was selected second overall by Carolina in a stacked 2003 draft class. Staal made an immediate impact on that Carolina franchise and helped them win it all in 2006. This is Staal’s only Stanley Cup of his career.
Over the course of his career, Eric Staal has put up some impressive numbers. He has 439 goals and 592 assists over his impressive career in 1,272 career games. Staal is a proven winner who will do whatever it takes to help his team win it all.
Where Does Eric Staal Fit in Montreal?
Montreal has a lot of young talent on the roster. Their top-six forwards in the lineup are a perfect combo for a team like Montreal. Young superstars like Nick Suzuki and Jonathan Drouin have excelled in this offence, but that isn’t all. The addition of Tyler Toffoli has paid off in a big way. The real question is, where does Eric Staal fit in this lineup?
Staal is not the same player he was in Carolina, but he is still an effective player. He has resorted to more of a bottom-six player who can put up some impressive numbers. I see him as a perfect fit on the third line at the center position. If needed, they could also use him on the wing, but his best position is down the middle.
He is also a great addition to the power-play. Staal is a great penalty-killer as well. He isn’t afraid to go to the net or get in front of a slapshot. His veteran leadership will do wonders for the young talent in Montreal. With Eric Staal in the lineup, this team will get more experienced and mature on their way to the Stanley Cup playoffs.
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