When the word went around that Eric Staal of the Carolina Hurricanes had asked for $9 million a year in his contract negotiations, the hockey media took it and ran. I even wrote about it from the perspective of what others were saying about the figure.
Well the truth is that the story is not true. I spoke with Staal’s agent Rick Curran a few minutes ago and he said,
“Although I don’t normally comment on the negotiation processes that I am involved with on behalf of the players I represent, I can tell you that the numbers that were thrown out there are not true. In fact, No numbers have been discussed yet for Eric Staal.”
It appears that the hockey media have been drawn into a bogus report posted Sunday by Renaud Lavoie. With no apparent verification as to the source of his “information” Lavoie wrote that Staal asked for $9 million. Curran said the story is completely untrue.
Curran also said that he has discussed things like parameters with Hurricanes GM Ron Francis, as well as things like timing. But, he reiterated that numbers have not been a part of his discussions with Francis. Curran said that both Staal and Cam Ward, who he also represents are not concerned, and that are both focused on trying to get the season started off well. Curran said,
“One of the reasons I was hesitant to comment is because I don’t discuss negotiations. It’s not fair to the player or the club. But, it was not fair to Eric to have some guy yapping off when there was never such a request.”
Curran said that he was going to ignore the rumor, but that when credible people starting calling him about it, he felt he had to address it. Both Staal and Ward are in the final year of their contracts with the Hurricanes.
So the rumor mill is alive and well. It’s good that Curran has stepped forward to address the latest. I’m sure it won’t be the last.
Mark lives in the Raleigh, NC area and covers the Carolina Hurricanes.