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Are the Rangers Getting Close to a Deal With Marc Staal?

We've been so fascinated with Ilya Kovalchuk and his summer-long contract drama that we haven't paid much attention to the Rangers and their (far less eventful) negotiations with Marc Staal. The defenseman is a restricted free agent — one who has not received an offer sheet from Calgary, contrary to rumors — and the two sides were far apart in their negotiations earlier in the summer. (Glen Sather called it a "chasm" back in June.) But a source tells the Record's Andrew Gross that Staal and the Rangers are getting "closer" to an agreement, and Steve Zipay of Newsday also reports that the sides are talking, though nothing is necessarily imminent. Training camp, by the way, opens next Friday.

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