Reviewing the Staal Trade
The Pittsburgh Penguins were the proud hosts for the 2012 NHL Draft at the Consol Energy Center last month. While they drafted a number of exciting young prospects, the biggest news about the team involved a trade where C Jordan Staal was traded.
Jordan Staal was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes in exchange for C Brandon Sutter, a third line defensive specialist, prospect D Brian Dumoulin, and the 8th pick in the NHL Draft which was used to select D Derrick Pouliot.
Staal, drafted by the Penguins as the second pick in the 2006 Draft had played his entire career in Pittsburgh. Celebrated for his defensive skill with the Penguins as a leader of the penalty kill unit, Staal posted career best offensive numbers this year and was the Penguins leading goal scorer in the playoff series against the Flyers.
The Penguins sought to resign Staal during the offseason with GM Ray Shero offering a ten year deal believed to be worth $60 million dollars to keep the young center. When Staal refused the offer, Shero acted quickly to trade the center even though there was a year remaining on his contract, seeking to maximize his return.
For his part, speculation had been spreading for weeks that Jordan wanted to play with his older brother Eric in Carolina, and sought a larger role as a center for one of the first two lines, a situation the Pens could not accommodate because those places are occupied by Crosby and Malkin.
Making the best of this potentially difficult situation, Shero obtained an exciting young center in return as the key piece in this trade as Sutter has been leading the penalty kill efforts for Carolina and is seen to have offensive upside as well.
Just as importantly, the Penguins freed up additional cap space for other players by moving Staal, so be sure to visit again as there will certainly be more moves made before the end of the offseason.