Eric Staal will be staying on the Piedmont
for the 2015-16 season. The Hurricanes center signed a seven-year deal worth $57.75
million. It will pay him an average of $8.25 million per season.
We're not exactly going out on a limb when we state that this is money well spent. (Although James Mirtle thinks it's too much.) Staal has been one of the most consistent, durable players in the NHL since the lockout which wiped out the 2004-05 season. Since the lockout, he has scored 113 goals, eighth most in the NHL during that span. That's a better total than Marian Hossa (111), Sidney Crosby (99) and Rick Nash (96). His 252 points over that span is the 13th highest total and it's better than the totals of Martin St. Louis (246), a former winner of the Art Ross and Hart Trophies and Henrik Zetterberg (245), a Conn Smythe Trophy winner. Additionally, he's only missed one game during his four seasons in the league.
And if you think regular season numbers are overrated, check out what Staal did during Carolina's Cup run in 2006. He led the playoffs in scoring with 28 points in 26 games. And he got to hold that big silver thing at the end.
Which brings us to Jordan Staal who, according to rumors, is related to Eric in some fashion.
He's a restricted free agent after this season. How does he get his first big pay day?
Does he need to hit the 30 goal/60 point mark? Does he essentially need to be Ryan Malone's replacement on one of the first two lines? Does he need to ride shotgun on the wing of Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin? Does he need continue his sterling defensive play?
If you ask us, the answer is yes to all these questions. This is why we expect a big season out of Staal. He will be put in situations to succeed, especially on the power play. He has shown the ability to post big numbers in the past. The talent is there. And now, he'll be playing for a pay check.
And he probably wants to avoid that awkwardness at Christmas
that will certainly be present when Eric is buying the folks hot tubs and cars
while all Jordan can afford to spring for is a Hickory Farms beef stick and
a lilac candle.
(Photo: Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
EMPTY NETTER ASSISTS
-You wish you had a friend as cool as Maxime Talbot.
-New Senators forward and former Penguin Jarkko Ruutu is trying to fit in with his new teammate whom he used to agitate.
-A leaked photo of what is allegedly the Sabres' new third jersey has been floating around on the Internet for about a week or so. John Vogl of the Buffalo News confirmed that jersey is the real deal.
We're all for the return of the buffalo jumping over the crossed swords, but what is up with the vertical striping along the sides? It looks like a practice jersey because of that hideous feature. Why does Reebok and Nike keep ramming striping like that down our throats in seemingly every sports jersey out there?
-Having seemingly given up the process of trying to fix their team, Maple Leafs management will donate $1.5 million towards fixing local rinks.
-Maple Leafs first-round draft pick Luke Schenn wants to play in the NHL this season.
-The Bruins had 93 percent of their season ticket holders renew their tickets for 2008-09.
-Something tells us Hurricanes forward Rod Brind'Amour could get a sack against the Steelers' offensive line.
-According to Paul Kelly, the overlord of the NHLPA, former/current/AWOL Predators forward Alexander Radulov wants to return to Nashville.
-Wild defenseman Kurtis Foster returned to the rink for the first time since suffering a gruesome leg injury last season.
-The Flames pulled a Penguins and delivered some season tickets personally.
-Former Thrashers forward Scott Mellanby will join the Canucks as a scout.
-New Flames forward Todd Bertuzzi will wear No. 7 this season in honor of NHL hall-of-famer Phil Esposito. (Kudos to commenter "em" who caught our mistake with this one.)