With captain Eric Staal entering the final year of his seven-year, $57.75 million contract, GM Ron Francis has a big decision to make.
Does he ink the 30-year-old to a new multi-year extension? Or does he deal the former first-round pick in the hopes it returns some scoring help?
Staal is set to become an unrestricted free agent following the 2015-16 season.
He could be eyeing another significant payday on the open market, especially given what the likes of Jason Spezza got out of Dallas and Ryan Kesler signed for in Anaheim. All three are in their early 30’s.
“We’ll look at the whole situation and try and figure out what’s best,” Francis told the team’s website recently. “As we said from Day 1, it has to make sense for our organization. We always talk about the term of the contract and the money in the contract – making sure we’re not blocking things going forward either.”
Carolina’s offensive woes have been well documented.
If Francis is to deal the former second overall pick, he’ll likely be seeking young forward prospects with offensive upside in return.
Given the youth movement on the blue line, it might be the right time to deal Staal for some youth up front.
OK, time to vote: