It’s hard to rank the absolute best contract in the league given the varied contributions that hockey players provide, but near the top of any list would have to be Eric Staal. The former Carolina Hurricanes captain found himself struggling to record much offense during the 2015-16 season and was eventually traded to the New York Rangers. The move did nothing to help Staal’s play and when he became an unrestricted free agent in the summer there wasn’t a big money, long-term deal waiting. A 31-year old center who had registered 781 points in 929 games, won a Stanley Cup and was a two-time 40-goal scorer was forced to take a three-year, $10.5M deal from the Minnesota Wild in order to refresh his career, and it was the best thing that could have ever happened to him.Staal took off almost immediately in Minnesota, scoring 13 points in his first 14 games while being given more and more ice time. Head coachBruce Boudreau realized what he had, and Staal would end up registering 65 points for the Wild in the 2016-17 season. Already the contract was a bargain, but there was even more to come. Staal scored 42 goals this season,… Read full this story
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