Eric Staal joins AHL Iowa Wild for 2022 Olympics

Eric Staal is making his comeback.

The 37-year-old has signed a professional tryout deal with the Iowa Wild, the AHL’s branch of the Minnesota Wild, the team announced Thursday.

Staal, a 17-season NHL veteran, spent four seasons in Minnesota between 2016 and 2020. He most recently played in Montreal, where he helped the Habs to a surprising run to the Stanley Cup final in 2021.

According to Ken Campbell of The Hockey News, Staal’s plan is to spend a few weeks with the Wild in the AHL to level up before joining Team Canada for the Beijing 2022 Olympics.

In 2018, veteran free agent Chris Kelly signed a PTO contract with the AHL’s Belleville Senators before joining Team Canada at the Pyeongchang Olympics. He was named team captain, helped Canada win bronze, and then signed an NHL contract with the Anaheim Ducks.

It is not known if Staal plans to return to the NHL after the Olympics are over.

Staal represented Canada at the 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver and won gold with six points in seven games.

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