NHL star Jordan Staal will be a Carolina Hurricane for the next 10 years. The announcement was made just one week after the team acquired Staal from the Pittsburgh Penguins.
The deal marked the start of the free agency period and guarantees Staal $6 million per year beginning in the 2013-2014 season along with $4.5 million for the upcoming season.
According to Staal in a USA Today interview he had turned down a 10-year deal with the Pittsburgh Penguins just two weeks earlier, a move that led to his Carolina trade for center Brandon Sutter, defensive prospect Brian Dumoulin and the No. 8 NHL draft pick.
Staal joined team captain and big brother Eric Staal and according to general manager Jim Rutherford his addition to the team and subsequent contract “represents a cornerstone of our franchise for the long-term.”
At 23-years-0ld Staal scored career highs this past season with 25 assists and 50 points. Following his performances the Hurricanes moved to secure his job to ensure a top-shelf forward for the future of the team.
While both Staal’s are natural centers coach Kirk Muller says he plans to put the brothers on the ice at the same time to experiment during the teams preseason camp.
Carolina Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford explained his team’s decision while speaking on the Marek Vs. Wyshynski podcast on Friday afternoon:
“Over maybe a 30 year period, it’s hard to find a Jordan Staal, when you look at a 6-foot-4, 220-pound center that can skate and understands the game at both ends of the rink.”