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Capitals vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Jordan Staal Settling In

Monday, 09.10.2012 / 2:00 PM / Tracking the Storm
By Michael Smith
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Jordan Staal Settling In
For the first time in his six-year NHL career, Jordan Staal finds himself among new faces in a new dressing room.

Michael Smith
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But he’s not exactly a stranger in a strange land. The adjustment, he said, has gone pretty swimmingly.

“It’s been a lot of fun,” said Staal, who was traded to the Carolina Hurricanes on his wedding day on June 22. “We’ve got a great group of guys here. We’ve all been working hard and preparing for the upcoming season. I’m just having fun with it.”

Staal, who turned 24 today, is among the group of around 15 Hurricanes players that has been working out at Raleigh Center Ice since Tuesday of last week.

Prior to coming to the rink, Staal knew a few of his new teammates. His knew his brothers, Eric and Jared, obviously. He was teammates with Cam Ward on Team Canada’s gold medal squad at the 2007 IIHF World Championship in Moscow. He knew Jeff Skinner, who joined the workouts today, a little bit, as well.

“They’ve all been very welcoming and a lot of fun,” Staal said.

Staal was also roommates with Jiri Tlusty at the 2006 NHL Draft. Staal went No. 2 overall to the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Tlusty, 13th to the Toronto Maple Leafs. But there wasn’t much dialogue between the two back then, as Tlusty, a native of Slany of the Czech Republic, didn’t speak any English.

“We didn’t have too much of a conversation during that draft,” Staal recalled. “But he’s doing a pretty good job now. I remember the first time I started talking to him, and he just didn’t understand and I was like, ‘Oh, it’s like that.’

“But he’s a great guy. Lot of fun. I’m excited about playing with everyone.”

Excited to be in front of Ward rather than facing him, too. Though, he has challenged him plenty during the informal skates to varying degrees of success.

“He’s not the easiest goalie to score against, so I don’t know if he knows my tendencies or not, but either way, he finds a way to stop most of them,” Staal said. “I’m going to try to get the best of him every time, but he makes it pretty difficult.”

The same group of about 15 players has also been training with strength and conditioning coach Pete Friesen at the Athletic Performance Center each morning.

When asked if he has become accustomed to Friesen’s up-tempo, high-energy style yet, the 6’4”, 220-pound center laughed.

“It’s good, though” Staal said. “Right now, every guy needs it to try to get training camp-ready to show the coach what we’ve got.”

Off the ice, Staal, who signed a 10-year contract extension with the Canes on July 1, isn’t as settled as he is on the ice. Though he and his wife are now Raleigh homeowners, they won’t be officially moved in for another few weeks.

“We haven’t got settled in yet, but we’re fortunate enough to find a nice place,” he said. “We’re excited about moving in and digging into the community.”

Staal is entering his seventh career NHL season, just 69 games shy of 500 NHL games played. He is a career plus-53 and has totaled 248 points (120g, 128a). He has yet to miss postseason action, playing in 73 career playoff games and recording 36 points (23g, 13a). He and the Penguins won the Stanley Cup in 2009.

The Canes, who have experienced a three-season playoff drought, feel the acquisitions made this summer poise them for a return to the postseason. Staal is prepared to begin working toward that goal.

“It’s a new time for me,” Staal said. “It’s been a pretty easy transition considering we’ve got a good group of guys who can make it really easy. It’s been a lot of fun already for me so far, and I’m excited to play with these guys.”



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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 61 40 16 5 167 135 85
2 NYR 60 38 16 6 190 148 82
3 NYI 62 40 20 2 200 173 82
4 TBL 62 37 19 6 203 167 80
5 PIT 61 35 17 9 176 152 79
6 DET 59 33 15 11 173 154 77
7 WSH 62 33 19 10 184 156 76
8 BOS 60 29 22 9 158 158 67
9 FLA 61 26 22 13 145 172 65
10 PHI 62 26 25 11 164 181 63
11 OTT 58 25 23 10 166 161 60
12 NJD 61 25 27 9 137 161 59
13 CBJ 60 26 30 4 157 189 56
14 TOR 61 25 31 5 170 185 55
15 CAR 59 22 30 7 134 159 51
16 BUF 62 19 38 5 120 207 43

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 59 11 27 -16 38
E. Staal 54 18 18 -9 36
E. Lindholm 58 11 15 -16 26
J. Skinner 54 15 9 -16 24
R. Nash 56 7 14 -9 21
N. Gerbe 55 6 14 -13 20
A. Sekera 57 2 17 -7 19
V. Rask 57 8 10 -18 18
J. McClement 59 4 12 1 16
J. Staal 23 4 11 -1 15
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 16 19 4 .914 2.35
A. Khudobin 6 11 3 .901 2.73