Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/3/14

NEW YORK - JANUARY 25: Marc Staal #18 of the New York Rangers skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins skates against on January 25, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. Penguins defeated the Rangers 4-2. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
So, it has been seven weeks since Alec Martinez ended the Rangers’ season in Los Angeles, seven weeks in which general manager Glen Sather has made no attempt to lock up Marc Staal with a long-term contract extension before he goes into his potential walk year. “There’s been no discussion at all, but I did get a call from Jeff early in the offseason telling me that they were working on their arbitration cases, so not to interpret it as a sign of disrespect toward Marc,” agent Paul Krepelka told Slap Shots on Thursday, referring to assistant general manager Jeff Gorton. “I expect that we will be talking at some point before training camp. “Marc’s objective is to sign a long-term deal with the Rangers, and he would like to get it done before the season starts. That hasn’t changed. “But we’ll see.” What we’ll see is if Sather and the Rangers have learned their lesson from last year, when delayed and protracted negotiations with pending restricted free agents Henrik Lundqvist, Ryan Callahan and Dan Girardi unnecessarily intruded on the season and created a circus atmosphere leading up to the trade deadline. It’s true, the Rangers did have July 1 unrestricted free agency and potential arbitration cases with Group IIs Derick Brassard, Mats Zuccarello and Chris Kreider with which to deal throughout much of last month, but there is no legitimate reason at this moment for management not to be knee-deep in negotiations with the alternate captain. Because the sooner the Rangers determine Staal’s bottom line — which, at a minimum will be the same $33 million over six years ($5.5 million per) for which Girardi signed days prior to the trade deadline — the sooner they can decide whether to meet it and the sooner they can begin trade talks if they determine the cost is too high.
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