Penguins center Jordan Staal, 23, enters this off-season with Dwight Howard type power from the standpoint that no team is going to give up significant assets for a player who won’t commit long-term as Pittsburgh is in a position of weakness on the trade front if they were to entertain offers for Staal.
Therefore, don’t bank on the rumor of Edmonton being willing to trade the No. 1 overall pick for Staal becoming any kind of a possibility as Staal has no interest in playing in Edmonton and sources inside the Penguins organization say there are serious doubts that GM Ray Shero will even consider moving Staal at the draft or before he can start negotiating with Staal on July 1.
Staal though has all the power on dictating his long-term future whether i’d be Pittsburgh or elsewhere.
One situation though that is very likely to emerge in the coming months and chatter is already heating up is Staal orchestrating his way to Carolina and play with his brother Eric whether it would be via trade or in free agency next July.
It was only a matter of time before that talk started up and TSN’s Bob McKenzie added some fuel to the fire, writing today “I wouldn’t be surprised if all three Staal brothers eventually want to play on same team. Eric, BTW, has four more years on his CAR deal….Which is to suggest Eric not going anywhere. Just a guess, but if Jordan isn’t a Penguin — not suggesting he’s not — a Cane seems logical.
If Staal were to force his way to Carolina, how attractive would the Canes be as a trade partner?
They’re not a very attractive team from the standpoint of getting impact players at the NHL level back.
Going off the assumption that Jeff Skinner is an untouchable and I texted a Canes insider about an hour ago and he said there is no way Carolina would consider moving Skinner even if it meant signing Staal to an 8 year contract.
Tuomo Ruutu is a player the the Penguins really like and he fits Dan Bylsma’s style, but Ruutu has four years left on his contract with a cap hit of $4.5 million, a price the Penguins likely won’t have any interest in.
Gritty winger Chad Larose is a good player who would be a fit but the Penguins have players who play his type of game. Larose carrying an $1.7 million cap hit is a free agent next summer.
Aside from Skinner, the most attractive player upfront is 29 year old forward Jussi Jokinen.
Jokinen has two years left on his deal with a cap hit of $3 million. He’s a former 30 goal scorer who’s versatile and a factor on the power play, but his goal scoring numbers have gone way down, going from 30-to-19-to-12 in the last three seasons, as he collected 12 goals and 34 assists on the year.
Other Intriguing Players:
23 year old center Brandon Sutter, the Canes 2007 1st round pick is a former 20 goal scorer and had 17 goals and 32 points on the season. Sutter has good size at 6-3, 190 but is not a physically imposing player. He also carries a $2.066 million cap hit through the 2013-2014 season.
24 year old forward Jiri Tlusty would be a player that might interest the Penguins but he’s nothing more than a complementary player. Tlusty had 17 goals and 36 points in 2011-2012.
On the blueline, Tim Gleason would be a missing part on the Penguins blueline but just signed a four year deal and has a full no trade clause that goes into effect on July 1. He won’t get moved under any circumstances.
The notable name on the blueline is 20 year old defenseman Justin Falk who had 8 goals and 22 points in 66 games for the Hurricanes. Falk, the Canes 2010 second round pick, has puck moving ability is regarded as an offensive defenseman but plays with a physical edge and had 113 hits and 85 block shots this season for Carolina.
Any potential deal involving Staal, Pittsburgh would likely look to the Hurricanes system where top prospects center Zac Dalpe, winger Drayson Bowman and defensemen Ryan Murphy and Brian Dumoulin could be in play.