As reported during yesterday’s live draft blog, the Carolina Hurricanes acquire forward Jordan Staal from the Pittsburgh Penguins for a 2012 1st round pick (Derrick Pouliot), forward Brandon Sutter, and defenseman prospect Brian Dumoulit.
A lot of reports were swirling around the Jordan Staal camp this week. He rejected a 10 year, $60M contract from the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was obvious Staal doesn’t want to remain in Pittsburgh after his contract is up after this next season even though he was a fan favorite in Pittsburgh. Carolina was a favorite as Jordan’s brother, Eric Staal, captains the team. Jared Staal, another brother of Jordan, is making his way up the organization.
Trade talks between Carolina and Pittsburgh began around midday yesterday. Penguins GM Ray Shero had two main choices to deal with Staal: 1) Keep Staal, make a strong run for the Cup this upcoming season, and be prepared to let him walk away after the season or 2) Trade Staal now to get payment back so they’ wouldn’t just lose him. Shero chose to to later route as it put the organization in better shape.
The Hurricanes didn’t want Brandon Sutter to be a part of the trade as he is a very talented prospect, but they knew he would have to be a part of it in order to obtain Staal. They also had to package their first round draft pick and a defensive prospect, but it was worth it.
Staal is an elite player in the league as he excels in every situation he is put in. Staal is a regular on both the power play and penalty killing units. He is a master in the faceoff circle and can eat large minutes nightly. Staal can be trusted to keep a lead in the last minutes of a game or try to tie up a game late. Staal will also be a leader in the locker room as he’s been with the Penguins during their recent Stanley Cup runs. He has been a part of both ups and downs in his career and will be able to relate with younger players and help them grow.
Jordan is likely to play on the same line as his brother Eric. Though both are natural born center man, it is likely Eric will move over to right wing. They will have a stacked first line that will be counted on to produce offense.
Jordan Staal found out about his trade during his own wedding. Many current Penguins players, including Sidney Crosby, were in attendance and it was said to be a very emotional night.
The Penguins gained a lot of organizational depth with this deal. Sutter is a very fast skater with a great shot. Now that Sutter is on an offensively stacked team with potential line mates that include Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and James Neal, he is primed for a huge breakout season. Sutter will also get power play time alongside star defenseman Kris Letang.
The Penguins also got two prospects, Dumoulit and Pouliot, who both have enormous potential. They will work their way up the Penguins system and that will make its way up to the Penguins in a few years with this deal.
In the end, this trade benefits both the Penguins and Hurricanes. The Hurricanes got an elite player that will immediately impact their roster while the Penguins got three prospects: one that will help the roster now and two that will be a big part of the organization in the future.
More to Come..
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