The Carolina Hurricanes paid a steep price to acquire Jordan Staal at the NHL Draft, sending Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and the No. 8 overall pick in the draft (Derrick Poulliot) to the Pittsburgh Penguins. It was not only a quality package of players going the other way, it was also for a guy that had just one year remaining on his contract.
Well, not anymore.
The Hurricanes announced on Sunday that Staal has agreed to terms on a 10-year, $60 million deal.
If that sounds familiar, it's because those are the exact same terms that were reported to be offered by the Penguins, which was rejected by Staal.
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“We are very pleased that Jordan has chosen to commit to the Hurricanes organization and to make North Carolina his home,” said Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford in a team released statement. “At 23 years old he is just starting to come into his prime, and he now represents a cornerstone of our franchise for the long term.”
In 62 games last season Staal scored 25 goals to go with 25 assists, setting a new career high in points. He also did it while playing some of the toughest minutes in the NHL, serving as a top penalty killer, and only getting time on the second power play unit.
There's always some risk involved with a 10-year contract, but the $6 million cap hit seems reasonable for a top two-way center (especially in this market) that's still only 23 years old and has probably yet to hit his peak performance.
Given that he signed for the exact same term in Carolina that he rejected in Pittsburgh it's pretty easy to assume one of two things: 1) He either wanted to shed the "third-line center" label he had in Pittsburgh and take on a different type of role, or 2) He was really committed to playing on the same team as his older brother, Eric Staal.
Staal (Eric) is signed for the next four years at a cap hit of $8.25 million per season.