According to TSN’s Bob McKenzie, Jordan Staal has rejected a 10-year contract extension offered by the Pittsburgh Penguins. On top of that, Staal isn’t interested in signing a new contract at this time.
If true, this is very troubling news for the Penguins as Staal is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2013.
We’ve been hearing trade rumors involving Staal for a while now, but this report will pour gasoline onto that fire. The Penguins will not want to risk losing Staal for nothing and, as a team that hopes to compete in 2012-13, dealing him over the summer might be preferable to looking into their options at the trade deadline.
Of course, there’s any number of potential suitors for Staal if he is traded, but most of them will be hesitant to break the bank for a guy that might turn into a one-year rental. An exception to that rule might be the Carolina Hurricanes, which already employs his older brother, Eric Staal. His younger brother, Jared, is also in the organization, but hasn’t made his NHL debut.
The other member of the Staal brothers, Marc, is of course playing for the New York Rangers, but Pittsburgh would probably balk at the prospect of trading Jordan to a division rival.
Of course, all this trade talk is just speculation, but you can expect to see a whole lot more of it in the near future if McKenzie’s report isn’t countered.
Update: Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review has confirmed that Staal rejected a 10-year deal from the Penguins.