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February 27, 2016 | 12:01pm ET
Rangers in pursuit of Eric Staal?

The New York Rangers have expressed significant interest in Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal and hope to acquire him by Monday's 3pm ET trade deadline.

The Rangers and Hurricanes have been in talks over Staal's availability, as he has a full no-trade clause and would have to approve any deal Carolina tries to make.

As of Friday afternoon, the Hurricanes had not approached Staal about waiving his no-trade clause or about the possibility, should a deal with the Rangers come to fruition.

That could change over the weekend, one Eastern Conference team executive told TFP on Saturday morning, as talks between the Hurricanes and Rangers are expected to pick up steam.

The Rangers are believed to be willing to part with forward Chris Kreider, and while it's not confirmed that he has been made available as part of a package for Staal, another NHL team executive told TFP Senior Writer Dennis Bernstein he believes Kreider will be in the mix if a trade is completed.

"(I) think they package Kreider to get (Staal)," the team executive said, adding that the Rangers cannot currently afford to re-sign pending restricted free agents Kreider, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes and Dylan McIlrath.

Staal, 31, is in the final year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.

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