It’s been nearly a year since Jordan Staal was traded by the Pittsburgh Penguins to Carolina. Last summer’s draft saw the blockbuster deal that sent Staal to the Hurricanes to play alongside his brother, Eric Staal, and free him from the shadow of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby.
Tonight he plays his first game back in Pittsburgh where it’s expected he’ll receive a warm welcome from the fans. Chip Alexander of the Raleigh News & Observer shares the story.
“It’s exciting to be back,” Staal said after Saturday’s morning skate. “Obviously I wish we were in a better situation and it being a bigger game than it is. It’s still very exciting for myself just to come in this building and be able to play against my ex-teammates.”
Neither team has much to play for. Carolina is out of the playoffs and will be involved in Monday’s draft lottery while the Penguins are locked in as the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference. Jordan just has to hope Brandon Sutter doesn’t brag to him too much about how nice things are on a Cup contender.