The Minnesota Wild traded veteran center Eric Staal to the Buffalo Sabres for forward Marcus Johansson, reports Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman.
The 35-year-old Staal remained productive in 2019-20, potting 19 goals and 47 points in 66 games. He’ll likely be asked to become the No. 2 center behind Jack Eichel in Buffalo. New Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams was Staal’s teammate when the two played for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Johansson, 29, tallied nine goals and 30 points in 60 games last season. He did that while playing primarily down the middle out of necessity, despite being a winger for most of his 10-year NHL career.
Both players are entering the final year of their deals. Staal’s contract carries an average annua of $3.25 million, while Johansson’s annual cap hit is $4.5 million.