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Tracking the Storm

Jordan Staal Scopes Out Home in Raleigh

Friday, 07.27.2012 / 4:22 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Jordan Staal Scopes Out Home in Raleigh


He got married. He was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes. He went on his honeymoon. He signed a 10-year contract extension worth $60 million.

Michael Smith
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The next logical step for Jordan Staal?

Buy a house in Raleigh, which is what he and his wife were in town to do on Friday.

“We were looking. There are some nice houses around here,” he said at an afternoon press conference. “We found a few, and we’re debating on them.”

President and General Manager Jim Rutherford was present to officially hand Staal his new red Canes sweater, though he had already donned the full gear earlier in the week for an on-ice session with Bauer.

“I think I look pretty good in red,” he said with a smile.

Now just over a month removed from an emotional day that saw him get wed and be traded within a few short hours of each other, Staal stepped back to recount the chain of events.

“It was a crazy day,” he said. “I think anyone could tell you that their wedding day could be crazy, but to put all that stuff in there, there were a lot of emotions in the room. Some ex-teammates now that were there, and with the family and everyone hearing it all at once, it was pretty surreal.

“But, I knew in the long-run I’d be very exited and very happy,” he said.

Excitement was the general theme of Staal’s first face-to-face meeting with the media since the trade – excitement about playing with his brother, excitement about his expanded offensive role and excitement about the Canes’ most recent signing in Alexander Semin.

“To play alongside [my] brother in the prime of our careers is very exciting,” he said. “To hopefully make an impact and really do something special is even more exciting.”

Whether Jordan will play alongside his elder brother is something the coaching staff will decide. Head coach Kirk Muller has said he’ll at least start with the brothers Staal on the same line, but Jordan isn’t overly concerned about potential combinations.

“I don’t really expect much with lines. Every season, lines change,” he said. “Guys move up and down. I’m sure there will be tweaking.”

First-line center or second-line center, Staal will see his offensive game fleshed out more than during his time with the Pittsburgh Penguins. Even though he was often a third-line center in Pittsburgh behind two Hart Trophy-winning centers in Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin, he still scored 20 or more goals in four of his six NHL seasons. After putting up 49 points in 2008-09 and 2009-10, Staal breached the 50-point plateau last season with 25 goals and 25 assists.

Rutherford believes Staal has an upside yet. So does the 23-year-old forward himself.

“I’ve always been slotted in as the two-way forward, but I feel like I can work on my offensive game more,” he said.

In addition to sharing ice with his brother, Staal might also get the opportunity to play with Semin. It wouldn’t be far off-base to foresee a first line that includes Eric, Jordan and Semin at some point in training camp.

“I know Alexander can really do some damage and play some great hockey,” Staal said. “We (Jordan and Eric) talked yesterday, and we were both very excited about it.”

Staal said he plans on officially arriving in Raleigh in early September, in time to get settled before training camp begins.

Until then, the excitement builds.

“I’ve been looking for the opportunity to expand my role and be more of an elite player, and I know the opportunity is here,” Staal said. “There is pressure, but hopefully I can have a big year and big career here.”



SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 51 32 15 4 166 133 68
2 MTL 48 32 13 3 128 108 67
3 DET 50 29 12 9 149 129 67
4 NYI 49 32 16 1 158 139 65
5 PIT 49 28 13 8 145 125 64
6 BOS 50 27 16 7 134 124 61
7 NYR 47 28 15 4 139 112 60
8 WSH 49 25 14 10 144 125 60
9 FLA 47 21 16 10 115 132 52
10 PHI 51 22 22 7 140 151 51
11 OTT 48 20 19 9 136 136 49
12 TOR 51 22 25 4 144 156 48
13 NJD 50 19 22 9 113 138 47
14 CBJ 48 21 24 3 120 151 45
15 CAR 49 17 26 6 105 129 40
16 BUF 50 14 33 3 94 179 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 44 16 14 -6 30
J. Faulk 49 10 19 -15 29
E. Lindholm 48 9 11 -12 20
R. Nash 49 7 13 -4 20
J. Tlusty 42 12 7 -14 19
J. Skinner 44 10 9 -9 19
N. Gerbe 45 5 13 -7 18
V. Rask 49 6 9 -13 15
A. Sekera 47 1 14 -7 15
J. McClement 49 1 9 -2 10
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 6 8 2 .914 2.41
C. Ward 11 18 4 .913 2.42