The New York Rangers have acquired Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal in a trade.

Eric Staal, Zdeno Chara
Boston Bruins' Zdeno Chara (33), falls to the ice chasing the puck with Carolina Hurricanes' Eric Staal (12) in Raleigh, N.C., Friday, Feb. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

In exchange for Staal, the Hurricanes acquired center Aleksi Saarela, who is currently playing in his native Finland, and New York's second-round selections in each of the next two drafts.

Staal had spent his entire 12-year career with the Hurricanes and is eligible to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, once the final year of his seven-year, $55.75 million contract expires.

The trade was reached Sunday about an hour before the Hurricanes played host to the St. Louis Blues, and a day before the NHL trade deadline.

Staal has scored 30-plus goals five times in his career.

He has 10 goals and 23 assists in 63 games this season.

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