Those wacky Staal rumors just won’t go away. Will Eric stay with the Carolina Hurricanes or will he go? They were rampant back in October and I wrote then that they were likely unfounded. However, the Twitterverse still has its advocates for Staal being traded:
maybe we can attract Eric or Jordan Staal now.
— Tim (@96liverpudlians) January 16, 2015
So it’s attract either Eric Staal or Jordan Staal to another team now? Well that would certainly alter things on the ‘Canes top line. Somehow I’m not sure Jordan is going anywhere. The more intriguing character in this thickening plot of course is Eric Staal. Regardless of how some of the “Caniacs” feel, he does attract opinions:
@french60wasp Eric Staal sucks. He is soft and not what they need.
— Derek Felix (@NewYorkPuck) January 14, 2015
Eric Staal fan frustrations
The fans of the Carolina Hurricanes have wrestled with their team’s captain for the past several years. While he is touted by many across the board as a legitimate NHL “superstar,” the locals have been waiting for him to return to superstar form. His play has without question left a lot to be desired in the recent past.
In his defense, he has had to deal with injuries. That can and often does keep players – superstar or not – from playing up to their potential. He even spent time this season on injured reserve. He started the 2014-15 campaign very much below the anticipation and expectations that all of us here in Raleigh, NC had envisioned.
The fan base began to grow weary rather quickly at what looked to be another disappointing season from Eric Staal. But, having had core surgery in the summer and a subsequent “upper-body injury” early this season is enough to give him a pass on what was a slow start.
Eric has been heating up lately, as the Hurricanes captain has scored six goals in his last eight games. He currently has 26 points – 13 goals and 13 assists. He seems fully recovered physically, and is going to the net much more aggressively than in the recent past. This is no doubt attracting the attention and interest of fans and teams across the NHL. When Eric Staal is on, it is fantastic. Nashville Predators Pekka Rinne was in-goal when he got his 300th career NHL goal:
What about brother Marc Staal?
As I am writing this article about Eric Staal, news of another Staal brother is swirling. A few minutes ago, Greg Wyshynski of Yahoo! Sports wrote that Marc Staal and the New York Rangers are close to a six-year deal that is worth close to $6 million per season. Drawing from the New York Post and Bob McKenzie of TSN, Wyshynski noted that Marc did not want to go the way of former Rangers’ captain Ryan Callahan, who was traded because the two sides could not come to an agreement.
Why is this significant? Some have thought that the New York Rangers would attempt to woo brother Eric Staal away from the Carolina Hurricanes and unite him with Marc. Some have hoped that brother Marc might even get a little Carolina on his mind:
Trade Ward, Tlusty & Sekera; try to get McDavid or Eichel; throw money at Justin Williams and Marc Staal. #GoCanes
— Jeremy Hartley (@hart_jerm) January 13, 2015
For now it seems that there will not be a trio of Staal brothers skating regularly on the Hurricanes’ ice. Wait, there’s another Staal! That’s right, brother number four is Jared Staal, also a part of the ‘Canes organization. Sadly, Jared is not climbing the NHL adder very well, playing for Carolina’s AHL affiliate Charlotte Checkers. My colleague Jonathan Gardner of The Hockey Writers wrote recently of having all four Staal brothers on the ice at once when the Rangers came to town to play the Hurricanes. Unfortunately Marc was injured and it did not happen.
Also dispelled with the news of Marc’s apparent re-signing with New York, is the thought that all four Staals might someday wear sweaters from the same team. Unless the Rangers can snag Eric and Jordan and Jared, the “brothers four” just won’t happen. Not anytime soon anyway. Those who love to engage in spreading the idea of “what if” in the realm of the brothers Staal, will just have to wait.
Eric is “Staaled”
The bottom line is that Eric Staal is not going anywhere this season. He has a no trade clause. Absent a deal of gargantuan proportions that would benefit him beyond anything he has currently imagined, he is staying a Carolina Hurricane. Nichols on Hockey transcribed Elliotte Friedman’s chat with Calgary’s Sportsnet 960 on Eric Staal:
“I think the other interesting kind of stuff out there is I checked – I was asking a couple of teams who I thought might be interested in Eric Staal, and they’re kind of telling me that they’re under the impression that Eric Staal will not waive his no-trade this year. I kind of looked into that, and that’s the impression I got. I mean, there’s still six weeks to the deadline, so you never know if anything changes, but there sure are teams who seem to believe he’s not going to be available, at least not this season.”
Apparently that is the last word on Staal leaving the Hurricanes:
— Andrew Luistro (@ndrewL7) January 12, 2015
In the world of professional athletics anything is possible. Money definitely talks. As Coach Bill Peters told me Tuesday night, the current state of the Hurricanes makes them easy targets for trade inquiries, speculation, and rumors. That is part of the business of sports in general, and hockey specifically.
‘Canes rookie Executive VP/General Manager Ron Francis will undoubtedly have reams of papers on his desk with myriad potential groupings of this player for that pick, etc. As long as Ronnie doesn’t parrot Jim Rutherford and say that he is “acquiring assets,” I think the Hurricanes will have a bright future. That future most certainly includes Eric Staal. For now.