Former Detroit Red Wings defenseman Marc Staal was recently effusive in his praise of the Florida Panthers, his new NHL home.
It would be easy for Red Wings fans to take offense to some of the words Staal spoke.
“I get to join a really talented team that has playoff and Stanley Cup ambitions,” Staal, 35, told FloridaHockeyNow.com. “To get back into that mix is very exciting for me. I am very motivated, very excited to join the team . . . ”Obviously I am very ecstatic about that.”
But wait . . . there’s more.
— George Richards (@GeorgeRichards) August 14, 2022
“I am excited for that heighten expectation, the expectation to win every night,” Staal continued. “Have the pressure of being the team that every other team wants to beat. That is a fun thing to be a part of and I have missed that the past number of years. Joining these guys was really a no-brainer.”
Some could view all this talk as being a slap in the face to the Red Wings organization. But if you’re thinking along those lines, stop, take a breath.
It’s just the business of the game. Loyalty is determined by the color of the jersey the player is pulling on over his head.
Staal Was Proud To Be With Red Wings
A year ago, when he was inking a new one-year deal to stay with the Red Wings, Staal was equally powerful in his statement of expectations for the club that then employed him.
“I was being honest when I told (the media) at the end of the year and during the year, I really enjoyed myself,” Staal said of playing in Detroit. “The organization, the team, the way we were playing, what’s been going on there, it’s fun to be a part of.
We’re moving in the right direction. (It’s an) exciting place to be. It was a pretty easy decision to sign up for it again.”
Staal loved his time in Detroit and gave everything he had to help the team win. He’ll do the same for the Panthers. It’s just who he is as a person and a player.
As for his words of praise for the Panthers, don’t be offended. It’s just business.