The 31-year-old played with the Hurricanes for more than a decade, logging 909 of his 929 career regular season games with Carolina. There will always be that Stanley Cup run, yet it’s been quite some time since Staal enjoyed much success with that franchise.
(Yes, he paired with his brother Jordan Staal, but they never even managed a playoff appearance.)
Let’s be honest; Eric Staal was a flop with the New York Rangers. The most glaring letdown came in the playoffs, when Staal failed to score a single point as the Pittsburgh Penguins dispatched New York in five games.
That disappointment should dull the market for Staal, although cheaper contract demands could theoretically make a reunion more appealing for the Hurricanes. They don’t need to give back the considerable assets they gained in the Rangers trade if Eric returns, after all.
As much as the Hurricanes seem to value loyalty and familiarity, it sounds like they’re ready to move on. At least in this case.
Carolina locked down Aleksi Saarela, who was part of the Staal trade