Jordan Staal has been a Carolina Hurricane for nearly a decade, but why is it time to move on from him?
On June 22, 2012 , the Carolina Hurricanes moved Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and a 1st round pick for center Jordan Staal. He has been a premier player ever since, but Jordan Staal is starting to slow down. His career is starting to come towards a close, and it’s time to see if it’s possible to move on from Jordan.
Staal has been a Top 6 center for the team since he was acquired. He’s not needed in that role anymore. With Sebastian Aho emerging as an elite talent, Erik Haula showing himself to be a great acquisition, and Lucas Wallmark establishing himself as a phenomenal player, Staal isn’t needed in that aspect. Staal has the lowest point-per-game ratio of any of the centers on the team.
Staal’s production has always been suspect, fair enough. But his strength has been being great defensively, allowing other lines to take the offensive load. Jordan Staal now can’t keep up with skaters. Players blow past him on a regular basis. He is no longer that defensive stud he made his name being. He’s slowing down.
“Jordan Staal is the captain of the team!”, you might say. Why would you trade the captain, right? With someone like Justin Williams still in the dressing room, you have a perfect captain who got the team to do so well in the playoffs last year. There’s no need to keep someone who doesn’t do anything on the ice around as a locker room guy, leader, or even a captain.
Another reason to move on from Staal is the pending albatross that contract is going to become, and slightly already is. $6 mil per year for 10 years, and it was signed 6 years ago. After this year, 3 years at $6 million for a player who’s aging and getting closer and closer to retirement, and who’s slowing down extremely quickly. Trying to move on from him is better for a financial standpoint, as well as a production standpoint.
We’ve touched on having other center options; it would also allow someone like Haula or Wallmark to get a genuine chance at that 2C role and see if they can show themselves to be better in that position that Staal. Haula especially has a lot of offensive prowess. Wallmark has shown himself to be a phenomenal player from time to time, and he scores when the Canes desperatly need goals.
I love Jordan Staal. He’s been one of my favorite canes since he was acquired some 8 years ago, but it’s time to pack it up and call it a day in my opinion. Staal doesn’t add enough on the ice to be worth his contract, and he takes a Top 6 or 9 spot that would be better served being given to other player.