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Staal Signs for Seven

Thursday, 09.11.2008 / 1:36 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Staal Signs for Seven
Staal Tribute Video

The news is out - Eric Staal has signed a seven-year contract extension worth an average of $8.25 million per season through the 2015-16 season.

Paul Branecky
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That sounds like a really long time from now.  Fans of the Back to the Future series might remember 2015 as an era with flying cars and jackets that fit themselves to you at the push of a button.  Although that all seemed reasonable in the late '80's, I don't think we'll have those by the time Mr. Staal's new deal runs out.  The hoverboard is a real possibility, though.

Back to a serious note, this is big news for the Hurricanes for all the reasons that Mr. Rutheford pointed out yesterday.  As lucky as the team is to have a player of Staal's caliber here in the first place, they're even luckier that he genuinely wants to stay here.  A lot of players say that, but to sign now and forego the chance of a more lucrative deal via an offer sheet next summer speaks volumes.

”Since the minute I got here at 18 years old it’s been unbelievable," said Staal.  "I couldn’t imagine at this young age to be where I’m at.  My wife and I love the area.  We love Raleigh, it’s a great place to live.  We just feel so comfortable here.”

At the press conference, Mr. Rutherford made a great point about what happened the last time the franchise had a true star player and weren't able to hang on to him.

"One of the things that I thought about through this process, and this goes back before a few people in this room’s time, but when Ronnie Francis played for the Whalers at a young age, they let him go, and the Whalers were never the same after that," said Rutherford, who wasn't yet with the organization at that time.  "He went on to Pittsburgh and won a couple of Stanley Cups and had a great career.  I think the importance for a franchise when they get a star player like Eric, you need to keep that player or your franchise will get in trouble."

Not that he could have forgotten about that now with Francis as his right-hand man, but consider that lesson learned.

Before you go worrying about what this does to the team's salary cap this season, a nice feature of the deal is that it won't take effect until after his current one expires.  That means he'll still earn the $5 million he was scheduled to make this year, leaving the team's salary cap unaltered for now.

Here's the tribute video that was played before the press conference in case you missed it.  Some of you who caught the streaming feed may have experienced some audio problems - sorry about that.  We'll get everything fixed for the preseason.



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 51 38 9 4 166 114 80
2 FLA 53 31 16 6 143 118 68
3 NYR 53 30 18 5 150 135 65
4 TBL 52 29 19 4 138 123 62
5 BOS 52 28 18 6 151 137 62
6 DET 53 27 18 8 133 131 62
7 PIT 52 27 18 7 138 132 61
8 NYI 51 27 18 6 143 127 60
9 NJD 54 26 21 7 120 122 59
10 CAR 54 24 21 9 130 142 57
11 MTL 54 26 24 4 143 143 56
12 OTT 54 25 23 6 153 166 56
13 PHI 51 23 19 9 121 133 55
14 BUF 53 21 26 6 120 139 48
15 TOR 51 19 23 9 117 140 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 54 15 19 -13 34
J. Skinner 54 19 12 -3 31
V. Rask 52 12 19 0 31
J. Staal 54 12 19 8 31
K. Versteeg 53 10 21 1 31
E. Staal 54 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 54 8 16 -9 24
A. Nestrasil 47 7 12 0 19
J. Nordstrom 43 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 54 3 11 -11 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 6 .908 2.38
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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