Is Carolina Hurricanes Captain Jordan Staal the obvious choice?
This one is the one that will sting the most, but I don’t think there’s a large case to dispute this. Jordan Staal is first on this list because of a variety of factors.
Let’s start with his contract. It’s illegal. Under the current agreement, the maximum contract length is 8 years, whereas Staal was signed to a 10-year deal. He still has a retirement clause in his contract as all old contracts did, but under the new agreement, Carolina could be hit with a substantial cap recapture penalty should he retire.
Staal isn’t exactly setting the world on fire either. Registering just 27 points in 68 games for someone making 6 million dollars a year, it’s just not good enough. Staal’s known for his outstanding ability in the dot, and his elite defensive game. I’d raise the point, Rod Brind’amour used to move a small country in the dot, face-offs aren’t a problem. His defensive game isn’t worth six million.
Something else to consider is Staal has a no-move clause in his contract. This means he has total control over any trades made including him, but more significantly, it means he would need protection in the upcoming expansion draft. With Seattle coming into the league, Staal would take up a valuable protection slot among the forwards.
Staal’s the captain of the team, and he’s someone that brings a cup-winning experience to the team from his time in Pittsburgh. You never want to see a locker-room guy like that go, especially when it’s the team captain. However, when talking about this, remember that Rod doesn’t get to decide this. I don’t know if he’ll get a say, I’m not in the room.
Tom Dundon gets to make this choice, and Dundon is one of the smartest businessmen on the continent. If it comes down to making the best business decision, I don’t see anyone fitting that description better than Staal. It’s just what happens to be best for the team both in the current situation and in the long run. It’s not ideal, but it is what we are talking about.