The Latest Jordan Staal Rumors

pittsburgh

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.

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