The Pittsburgh Penguins offered Jordan Staal a contract in the 10 year range, according to multiple sources. They had every intention on locking him up and keeping him in Pittsburgh for the rest of his career.
Unfortunately for the Pens, Staal feels quite differently about playing the rest of his career in the Steel City.
According to his agent, Staal has rejected the huge deal from the Penguins, and it doesn’t seem to have much, if anything, to do with the terms of the proposal.
That is rare in professional sports.
It has more to do with whom Staal would like to join and play alongside. It is no secret that Staal would be very interested in playing with his brother, Eric, who is the team captain with the Carolina Hurricanes.
Apparently, Jordan is not as close to his other brother, Marc, who plays with the New York Rangers. It must be a center thing.
Joking aside, he has expressed absolutely no interest in joining the Blue Shirts. Either way, it appears as if Jordan Staal will play out his final season in Pittsburgh, and then bolt via free agency.
That is, unless the Penguins do the smart thing and trade Staal to the Hurricanes now.
Pens general manager Ray Shero is telling everyone who will listen that he has no intention of trading Staal. I understand he still wants to keep Staal for the long term and has high hopes of competing for a Stanley Cup championship as soon as next season. But if Staal is inclined to leave Pittsburgh for Carolina after just one more season, why not go ahead and deal him now so that you don’t risk losing him for nothing?
Staal is only 23-years-old, and could be a cornerstone for any team going forward. But if it is not to be in Pittsburgh, the Penguins would be smart to move him now.