Detroit Red Wings re-sign defenseman Marc Staal, bodes well for Moritz Seider

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Red Wings‘ defense corps for the coming season projects to be a nice blend of veteran savvy and young skill.

The team re-signed Marc Staal for one year, $2 million Sunday, extending the relationship begun last October when general manager Steve Yzerman traded for Staal in a deal that included the New York Rangers sending a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL draft to Detroit. (Yzerman used that pick to move up to draft potential franchise goaltender Sebastian Cossa at No. 15.)

Staal, 34, had three goals and seven assists in 56 games last season, averaging 18:25 minutes on the ice per game.

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On July 16, Yzerman acquired veteran defenseman Nick Leddy from the New York Islanders, and mentioned Leddy would be a partner for Filip Hronek, a 2016 second-round pick who has emerged as a top-four defenseman.

Staal projects to partner with Moritz Seider, the No. 6 pick from 2019 who is poised to join the lineup this fall. Seider has been vocal about how much it helped his development in Sweden, where he played in 2019-20 for Rögle because of the pandemic, to be partnered with veteran Eric Gelinas. Staal, the 12th pick in the 2005 draft, is a veteran of 948 NHL games. He plays a smart, efficient game, often using his 6-feet-4, 209-pound body to break up plays.

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While training camp and exhibition season will be much more of a barometer of how the pairings evolve, as it stands now the top four shape up to be Staal-Seider, Leddy-Hronek. That’s two left-shots in Staal and Leddy, and right-shots in Seider and Hronek.

Staal’s extension also gives the Wings insurance for Danny DeKeyser, the veteran defenseman who hasn’t looked like his former self since back surgery in December 2019.

Contact Helene St. James at hstjames@freepress.com. Follow her on Twitter @helenestjames. Read more on the Detroit Red Wings and sign up for our Red Wings newsletter. Her book, The Big 50: The Detroit Red Wings is available from AmazonBarnes & Noble and Triumph Books. Personalized copies available via her e-mail.

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