'Excited to be back': Defenseman Marc Staal jumped at chance to rejoin Red Wings

Ted Kulfan
The Detroit News

Detroit — Marc Staal enjoyed his time with the Red Wings last season, made it well known and wanted to return.

So it wasn't a shock when Staal re-signed Sunday with the Wings on a one-year contract worth $2 million, taking himself off Wednesday's unrestricted free agent market.

"I told you guys (reporters) at the of the year, during the year, I really enjoyed myself (in Detroit)," Staal said Monday during a media Zoom call. "The organization, the team, the way we were playing, what's been going on there (offseason moves), it's fun to be a part of.

"You never know what you're going to have in free agency and I was curious to get there. But Steve (general manager Steve Yzerman) reached out and made an offer, and like I said before, I had fun playing (in Detroit)."

Staal, 34, also asked, and received, a no-move clause from Yzerman.

"Getting something concrete down where I can move my family down there now and do that stuff, at this time, it was the best decision," Staal said. "I have three young kids and it was important to me. Not to say I'd say no to an opportunity (at the trade deadline, if it occurs) but with the young family and you never know what'll be the situation when you get to that time of the year (trade deadline). To be able to control it a little bit at the trade deadline was important.

"Steve was willing to do that for me and I appreciate that. You never know what's going to happen, but it's a nice thing to have."

Veteran defenseman Marc Staal will return to the Red Wings for a second season.

After spending the first 13 years of his NHL career with the New York Rangers, Staal found the move to the Wings exciting and re-energizing.

"I liked our attitude, the organization is just first class, the facilities are beautiful, and the fans, it's a hockey market," Staal said. "It's a lot of great things playing for the Red Wings, and I learned that pretty quickly.

"When I had an opportunity to set up here again, it didn't take too long to make the decision. I'm excited to be back."

Staal toyed with the possibility of joining his brothers, either Eric (a potential UFA) or Jordan (in Carolina), on a team for next season. But rejoining the Wings was a better fit.

"When I was going through it and when I was thinking about coming back (to Detroit), both of them were very supportive and pretty pumped up for me to take the offer," Staal said.

Staal played against recently acquired defenseman Nick Leddy when Leddy with the crosstown New York Islanders and Staal with the Rangers. And, of course, Jordan Staal was Carolina teammates last season with goaltender Alex Nedeljkovic, another recent Wings acquisition.

Both players will make the Wings more competitive, said Staal.

"I played against Leddy for a lot of years in New York and he's an incredibly skilled player," Staal said. "He can fly, he can control the puck real well. I'm excited to play with him and not against him.

"Jordan spoke very highly of (Nedeljkovic). He had a great year for them last year. Just from playing against him, he plays the puck extremely well so I'll love that part of it and take a few less hits with him back there. He's a competitive guy and I'm excited to meet him and play in front of him.

"He (Yzerman) is trying to build a winner and move pieces around and we're going to be more competitive. We got better as last year went on and we'll be better this year. That's what we're striving for and it's a fun thing to be a part of."


Twitter: @tkulfan