(Photo: NHL)

The New York Rangers and defenseman Marc Staal have agreed to a six-year contract extension. Staal, 28, will receive $34.2 million over the next six seasons and will continue his career with the Rangers through 2020-2021. The deal also includes a full no-movement clause for the first three seasons and a modified no-trade clause for the remaining three.

Staal would have entered the offseason as an unrestricted free agent, but both sides have made it clear that New York is where he belongs. Staal has spent his entire eight-year career with the Rangers since being drafted 12th overall in the 2005 draft. He currently has 2 goals and 6 assists this season, including the Rangers’ first goal in their 2-1 win over Columbus on Friday night, and he is carrying a +6 rating. He is also averaging 22:00 of playing time per game on the blue line.

With Staal locked down for the foreseeable future, the Rangers must now consider their other pending UFAs and RFAs. Pending UFAs are Martin St. Louis, Mats Zuccarello, Lee Stempniak, and Matt Hunwick, and pending RFAs are Derek Stepan, Jesper Fast, Carl Hagelin, and John Moore. With approximately $20 million remaining in cap space and several players due a raise and/or extension, the Rangers will most likely need to say some goodbyes and make some sacrifices before next season begins.

Stephanie is currently a student at Roger Williams University and is working toward a BFA in Creative Writing and Film. She is hoping to pursue a master's degree in Sports Journalism after graduating. Stephanie is a former basketball player and now enjoys writing from the sidelines (though she wouldn't be opposed to watching from a press box). She quite literally turned into a full-fledged hockey fan overnight, and she is the lone Rangers/Blackhawks fan in a family of hardcore Bruins fans. During the offseason, she enjoys writing, film, traveling, and theatre. Twitter: @stephanielynn_

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