Category Archives: Carolina Hurricanes
With the NHL draft at Consol Energy Center just a few days away, speculation about trades involving some big-name players, including Penguins center Jordan Staal, is ratcheting up. Now, it still isn’t clear whether Staal is interested in leaving the Penguins – general manager Ray Shero hasn’t spoken with reporters in several weeks, and agent Paul Krepelka has declined to discuss anything about Staal’s situation – but if he is going to be moved, he certainly would not be the first prominent player to be dealt shortly before a draft. Or even after one has begun, for that matter.
Carolina has been singled out as a likely landing spot if Staal gets traded, and that makes sense on a number of levels. The Hurricanes are shopping for a quality forward to play with Eric Staal and, because a deal would unite the younger Staal with his brother, Carolina presumably would have a decent chance of getting Jordan Staal’s name on a contract to follow the one that expires after next season. Whether Carolina has – or is willing to part with – the assets the Penguins would require to go along with such a swap is a separate issue.
It has been suggested that the Penguins would want the Hurricanes’ first-round draft choice, No. 8 overall, to be part of any package for Staal because it would liven up the proceedings at the Penguins’ home arena Friday. That might make for good theater, but it isn’t necessarily good management. There’s nothing at all wrong with acquiring a quality draft choice if such a trade is made, but doing it solely to give the crowd a short-lived sugar-high would be a grievous lapse in judgment. Trading Staal would be a move that could have repercussions for the Penguins for years. Accepting a package solely, or even partially, because it would inject a buzz into the draft proceedings Friday would be the kind of short-sighted mistake Shero has managed to avoid for most of his six-plus years on the job.
Paul Maurice recently said he hoped to be back in coaching next season.
And he will be – in Russia.
Maurice, the former coach of the Carolina Hurricanes, has been given a one-year contract by Metallurg Magnitogorsk of the Kontinental Hockey League, it was announced Friday. Former Canes assistant coach and goaltending coach Tom Barrasso will join Maurice’s staff as an assistant.
Maurice was fired by the Hurricanes on Nov. 28 and replaced by Kirk Muller. The Canes, who were a victory shy of reaching the Stanley Cup playoffs in 2011, were 8-13-4 and in 14th place in the NHL’s Eastern Conference last fall when Muller was brought in as coach.
Maurice, 45, kept a low profile after the firing but said he and his family remained in Raleigh. He served as a guest analyst for the NHL Network and TSN during the playoffs.
Keep an eye on the Carolina Hurricanes when it comes to how things play out on the Jordan Staal front with the Pittsburgh Penguins.
As I wrote recently, the Penguins’ top priority is to sign Sidney Crosby and Staal to contract extensions this summer — both centers are UFA-eligible on July 1, 2013 — but if they can’t get both done in a cap-sensible manner, it could open the door for Staal to be dealt.
Several teams have already expressed an interest regarding Staal, but I believe the Hurricanes will be aggressive in trying to trade for him, with the idea to have him on same team as his brother, Hurricanes captain Eric Staal.
If the Penguins decide to open the trade market on Jordan Staal, Pittsburgh could get more out of Carolina in a traditional hockey deal than from other teams.
Why? While other teams might point to the fact that Staal has only one year left on his deal and won’t want to give up too much for a pending 2013 UFA, the Hurricanes may be willing to take more of a long-term gamble that, given the sibling tie-in, they could re-sign Staal.