Hurricanes: Jordan Staal corrects the situation

HENDERSON, Nev. – Jordan Staal clarified his position on his future with the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday, saying he is ready to sign a new contract with the team.

The 34-year-old striker’s comments come just over three months after he said he intended to play out the final year of his contract without seeking to agree on an extension.

READ ALSO : The Hurricanes go back in time for their third jersey

Staal has one more season to go on the 10-year, $60 million ($6 million annual average) contract he signed with Carolina on July 1, 2012.

« I want to be part of the Hurricanes organization for as long as possible, and whether it’s an extension (of contract) now or at the end of the year, I’m sure we’ll find an agreement, » said mentioned Staal during the North American NHL Player Media Tour at Lifeguard Arena, Nevada. “This is where I want to be. »

Staal said he’s already had discussions with Hurricanes general manager Don Waddell about his contract and expects to pursue those before the start of the season.

« We had a few conversations over the summer, » said Staal, who is entering his 11th season in Carolina, his fourth as captain. “I think we’ll come back to it soon, and we’ll see what they think and what they want to do. »

It’s a pretty drastic change of heart for Staal, who, after the Hurricanes were eliminated in Game 7 against the New York Rangers in the second round of the playoffs on May 30, said, « I’m going to the end of this contract. Eleven years is a long time and it has been special. I will go to the end of this contract next year hoping to finish it on a good note and we will see afterwards. »

When asked on Friday if he had changed his tune, Staal admitted to having « changed his mind a bit ». However, he also maintained that his previous claims were influenced by emotion and bewilderment at being asked about his contract immediately after the defeat that ended his season.

“I was asked this question three minutes after our defeat. It was immediately after our loss to New York, Staal said. When I came to the Hurricanes, my mindset was always to honor my contract, to be useful and to be an integral part of the team and then see what happens. So when they asked me the question, in my head I had a year left. I haven’t really thought about it. »

Staal quickly realized that his words may have been misinterpreted.

« I was confused by the question actually, » he continued. And then I remember wondering if I had made a mistake. At the time, I didn’t really think about it. But here is where I am at now. »

The number of years remaining in his career also occupies Staal’s thoughts, but he believes he still has a lot to give.

Playing in a more defensive role at the center of the third line, Staal had 36 points (17 goals, 19 assists) in 78 regular season games and six points (one goal, five assists) in 14 playoff games last season.

« It’s hard when you’re approaching 35 to say how many years you have left in the tank, » Staal said. I played [16] years already, but every summer I feel invigorated and excited for the start of the coming season. That’s what I’ve done all my life.

“So in my head I’m going to play until they get me out of there, but we’ll see. »

Video: CAR@BOS, #4: Staal takes advantage of Niederreiter’s play

Drafted by the Pittsburgh Penguins at No. 2 in 2006, Staal was acquired by the Hurricanes on June 22, 2012 for eighth pick in the 2012 draft, center Brandon Sutter and defenseman Brian Dumoulin. At the time, the transaction allowed him to join his brother Eric in Carolina. The brothers played together until Eric was traded to Rangers on February 28, 2016.

The Hurricanes missed the playoffs in the first six seasons of Jordan Staal in Carolina, but have qualified for the postseason in each of the last four seasons – since hiring Rod Brind’Amour as coach. They also finished first in the Metropolitan Division and set team records for wins (54) and points (116) last season.

However, Carolina hasn’t made it past the second round of the playoffs since 2019, when it was swept in the Eastern Conference Finals by the Boston Bruins.

Staal believes Hurricanes can turn the tide and win Stanley Cup for first time since 2006 following defenseman acquisitions Brent Burns and attacker Max Pacioretty during the summer.

« We have a number of returning players, proven players, and we’ve acquired some very good players as well, » Staal said. It will make us even better. You never know what’s going to happen, but I have faith in our team and I really think we can be Stanley Cup contenders. »

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