Report: No decision on Eric Staal’s future until the new year

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Don’t expect Eric Staal‘s future in Carolina to be determined until January or February.

From TSN’s Bob McKenzie:

Carolina general manager Ron Francis and Staal’s agent Rick Curran did talk on the phone on Tuesday, but basically deferred ‎all matters relating to Staal’s future to the new year.

Neither Francis ‎nor Curran wanted to comment publicly, other than to indicate no doors have been opened or closed on either side and there’s no timetable beyond “talking again sometime in the new year.”

We wrote about Staal’s situation a couple of weeks ago. The 31-year-old center is a pending unrestricted free agent with an $8.25 million cap hit. While he’s said he’d like to stay in Carolina, the Hurricanes may decide moving on is the best course of action.

Given how little cap space most teams have, if Staal is traded, common sense says it’ll happen close to the Feb. 29 deadline.

But, again, at this point, it’s all a big “if”.

Staal has five goals and 12 assists in 28 games this season.