Center Eric Staal was traded to the Montreal Canadiens Friday in exchange for a third and fifth-round pick in the upcoming NHL Draft. The 36-year-old spent this season on the floundering Buffalo Sabres after he was traded from the Minnesota Wild last September.
Through 32 games this season, the veteran has posted just 10 points (three goals, seven assists), a mark that he himself has been hard on himself over.
“It hasn’t been good enough. I haven’t been good enough,” Staal said March 18, per NHL.com. “Clearly, in my mind, I had envisioned things differently coming here and it just hasn’t come to fruition and it hasn’t lived up to those thoughts. I think that’s for sure been challenging, that’s been difficult, but that’s still no excuse. It doesn’t matter. I have more pride in myself, what I can do in this league, what I can do on the ice, and at the end of the day it hasn’t been good enough for me personally, and obviously, clearly it hasn’t been good enough for our team either.”
The Sabres currently have the worst record in the league by a fair margin. They sit at a 6-22-4 record, having not won a game since Feb. 25, and have a dismal goal differential of minus-49. The next closest team in terms of win percentage is a tie between the Detroit Red Wings and Anaheim Ducks, who each sit at .353 for the season. As for goal differential, that’s lower than the next lowest total — also shared between the Red Wings and Ducks — by eight goals despite playing two fewer games.
“The professionalism Eric displayed during his time with the Sabres was felt by everybody in our organization from top to bottom,” Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams said. “I know his leadership and demeanor were valued by our players, coaches and staff, and Eric’s impact on our young players is obvious.”
Staal’s career stats since being drafted in 2003 by the Carolina Hurricanes include 1,031 points (439 goals, 592 assists) and 1,272 regular season games under his belt. He won a Stanley Cup with Carolina in 2006, and will now be joining a team that at least has a winning record, but currently sits fourth in the Scotia North division.
Published: 2021-03-27 00:43:37
Tags: #Eric #Staal #traded #Montreal #Canadiens #lowly #Sabres