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Teams Open to Making Eric Staal Trade Might Be Dropping

Eric Staal was a popular name on the trade bait board and he’s still likely to go, but why might the number of interested teams be dropping?

Eric Staal Sabres NHL 2

One of the names often talked about when it comes to who might be moved at the NHL Trade Deadline is Eric Staal. While it’s still extremely likely he is dealt before April 12th, some of the main contenders are no longer favorites. Among the teams believed to be heavy into the player was a team like the Edmonton Oilers. That may have changed.

Related: Sabres Expected to Talk to Taylor Hall About Potential Trade

There are a couple reasons that a team like Edmonton might be out of the mix. First, you have to look at what the Oilers really need and how much of an impact player Staal will be. Over the course of his career, he’s been a heck of player, but there’s also some thought that in a third-line role, he’s not a huge upgrade — at least not when it comes to the Oilers need to move an asset to make the deal worth while. Second, the quarantine issue is said to be a big concern.

Elliotte Friedman writes in his most recent 31 Thoughts post: “You saw how tough the quarantine was on 22-year-old Pierre-Luc Dubois, in prime physical condition.” He adds, “There’s a concern about its effect on Eric Staal, who is 36 (although in better shape than your average television commentator). That will be a factor in any Canadian possibilities for him.”

Essentially, what Friedman is suggesting is that the Oilers — or a team like them that might be in Canada and have interest in Staal — will have to seriously look at what the delays in joining the team and sitting out for two weeks might do to Staal’s production. On top of that, the acquiring team has to look at what they’re giving up to get Staal and how his cap hit of $3.25 million works into their current salary cap situation.

Eric Staal Buffalo Sabres
Eric Staal Buffalo Sabres

What Does That Mean For Staal?

The point is, a Staal trade isn’t so black and white for a number of teams that might have thought he’d make the ideal fit in a different situation.

If teams like Edmonton, Winnipeg or Toronto are out, Staal to Carolina seems like something that would make a lot more sense. Again, Staal will likely get moved. That said, the obvious fits that were first mentioned when his name hit the trade bait boards might not be so obvious now.

Next: Analyst Says Barrie Should Do “Whatever it Takes” to Stay with Oilers

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