Jordan Staal: Will Hurricanes Push To Keep Him?
The Carolina Hurricanes are on the brink of elimination and currently trail Florida three games to none in the 2023 Eastern Conference Finals. Nobody wants to think about it but the offseason is right around the corner for Carolina. Nobody wants to talk about it but this organization screams cheap and we’re about to find out just how frugal they are. Will the Canes make sure they re-sign Jordan Staal when the time comes?
Staal, 34, is about to finish up a contract that paid him an AAV of $6 million over the last ten years. It took a lot to bring Staal to Carolina from Pittsburgh. Now we’re going to find out if they’re willing to dish out the cash to keep him.
Frank Seravalli over at the Daily Faceoff dropped an interesting piece that tried to project free agency contracts for the upcoming offseason. The analytics suggest that Staal will be given a contract 2 x $3.2 million. Given the age and production, that number seems fair but I wonder if it’s enough to actually keep Staal without him giving the team a hometown discount. In the past, Staal opted to ride out the current contract rather than trying to get an extension done which may indicate he’s open to leaving the Canes.
Keep in mind it’s also a really weak free agent class. Damon Severson is the number one player available…
That should tell you everything you need to know.
It’s really a group of three. It’s JT Compher, Ryan O’Reilly, and Staal. Teams seeking that third line center that can dominate in the faceoff circle will be a coveted asset on the open market. Are we sure Staal can’t do better than that number?
Keep in mind, Carolina has just let a lot of their players walk. Dougie Hamilton and Vincent Trocheck both walked in back-to-back offseasons. Staal does feel a tad different given the fact that he has a C on his chest. The Canes also have roughly $27 million in cap space but that could dry up quick given the fact that Freddie Anderson, Jesper Fast, and Shayne Gostisbehere are also free agents. Brett Pesce, Teuvo Teravainen, Jalen Chatfield, Seth Jarvis, Brady Skjei, and Sebastian Aho will all need contracts the following year. Oh, and that bum Max Pacioretty could always return if you’re looking to waste cap space.
Staal won over 55% of his faceoffs again this past year. His veteran leadership is something up-and-coming teams should be all over. It’s going to be fascinating to see if Carolina pushes to keep Staal. If another savvy veteran walks out the door, is it too soon to call the Canes cheap? A underwhelming trade deadline after an offseason of watching good players walk out the door is tough to swallow. All eyes should be monitoring this one this offseason.