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Agent: Staal, Rangers making progress towards contract extension

Jussi Jokinen, Marc Staal

New York Rangers’ Marc Staal (18) battles Pittsburgh Penguins’ Jussi Jokinen (36) in the corner during the second period of Game 5 of a second-round NHL playoff hockey series in Pittsburgh, Friday, May 9, 2014. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


Marc Staal’s agent, Paul Krepelka, isn’t about to give reporters the play-by-play of his client’s contract-extension talks with the New York Rangers; however, he will say that negotiations are progressing.

“I’m not giving daily updates, not getting into ‘close or not close,’” Krepelka told The Post. “The tenor of the talks has been good, so we’ll keep going and keep working on it. There’s certainly no deadline on our part for getting this done.

“If this becomes a distraction at any time for Marc, then we’d have to take another look at it. But it’s all been positive to this point.”

Staal can become an unrestricted free agent next summer, when his five-year, $19.875 million deal expires. According to The Post, the 27-year-old is “believed to be seeking a six- or seven-year deal in the neighborhood of $6 million per— perhaps somewhat more. The Rangers are believed to be offering the same deal to which they signed [Dan] Girardi, six years at $5.5 million per — perhaps somewhat less.”

Staal has a good deal of leverage in the fact that, even with his concussion history, and assuming he stays healthy, he’d be a hot commodity on the open market. But if he wants to stay with the Rangers -- and by all accounts, he does -- he’ll likely have to take a bit less than he could get as a UFA.