For Staal, the news of his trade to Detroit came as a shock, but that initial feeling soon gave way to excitement as he described earlier this afternoon on a conference call with media members.
“I just got a call – I didn’t have much of a heads up, but just got a call and told me I was on my way to Detroit,” he explained regarding the trade. “I didn’t really have much of a heads-up; I just got called and they told me I was on my way to Detroit. Obviously it was surprising and shocking when it happens.”
“Going to an outstanding franchise with a beautiful new rink – I get to go from one great franchise to another one…it’s a pretty good situation I’m walking into.”
As far as any major adjustments that he has to make with a new team, Staal isn’t concerned, and is looking forward to providing veteran leadership on a young team.
“They have a great coaching staff and a team that competes and is very detailed,” he said.
“I think the longer you play, the more you’re relied on. I did that in New York the last couple of years with our rebuild – I still enjoy coming to the rink and being part of that group. It keeps you young and excited and enjoying the game. I like being relied on in any of those situations – I revel in that now. I want to come in and play well and hard and help the team win – leading by example, and if that rubs off on some of the young guys and it helps them, it’s good for everyone.”
Regarding the detail oriented team that head coach Jeff Blashill runs, Staal was complimentary of the players on the roster, and is looking forward to being a key piece of the team returning to their winning ways.
“Every time we played them, they were very detailed and were by no means easy to beat. They just have to get over the hump where success of winning games becomes regular. You’re never as far off as you think – I think they have some very good young players, and I’ve seen a couple of signings over the past few weeks. I’m ready to come in and help this team win games and get better. I’m excited.”