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Eric Staal addresses Toronto trade speculation

Dec 29, 2011, 1:32 PM EDT

Eric Staal Getty Images

The Maple Leafs are in Carolina to play the Hurricanes tonight, and you know what that means – Eric Staal trade talk!

You might remember a couple of weeks ago when Toronto radio personality Bill Watters reported a Staal-to-the-Leafs trade was imminent.

‘Canes general manager Jim Rutherford quickly denied the report, but Staal was still asked about it yesterday by the traveling Toronto media.

“To be honest I wasn’t that worried about it,” said Staal, as per the Toronto Sun. “Those are things that are out of my control. If it comes to me, I’ll deal with the situation when it arises.

“It’s obviously nice that Jim said what he said. He’s a guy I have the most respect for and someone I won a Stanley Cup with.

“This is a great organization. I’ve won a Stanley Cup here. I’ve started a family here. I’ve got some good people to work with. Obviously it’s been a tough season for not only myself but for everyone here. Any time that is the case there are rumours that start and everything that goes along with it. But for me, I’m just going to continue to work, continue to try to improve as a player and know that there are better days ahead.”

Staal continues to struggle in Carolina, with just seven goals in 38 games. In his last six games, he hasn’t registered a single point.

For Leafs fans, the prospect of Staal between Phil Kessel and Joffrey Lupul is a tempting one to ponder. No disrespect to Tyler Bozak, who’s been much better this season – he’s not in Staal’s league though. That goes for every center on the Leafs.

In all likelihood the whole thing was just a myth. But we’re a hockey blog. Trade rumors pay the bills.

  1. lonespeed - Dec 29, 2011 at 2:05 PM

    As a Carolina fan….please, please Jim, do not trade Eric Staal. Next year is a new year, and no matter what you get back in compensation, the likleihood of replacing a quality star like Staal is very unlikely.

    The other veterans in Carolina don’t have the leadership qualities to hold the team together and the more talented players are not ready for that responsibility.

  2. danphipps01 - Dec 29, 2011 at 3:30 PM

    As a Toronto fan… please, please, Brian, do not trade for Eric Staal. Next year may be a new year, but no matter what you give up in comepnsation, the likelihood of getting the quality star Staal used to be is very unlikely.

    Seriously. Guy’s been pulling a Vinnie Lecavalier, going downhill a little (or right now, a lot) downhill every year since blowing up the League when he was young. His cap hit is enormous and his play wouldn’t be worth half that much. We’re forty games into the season and he’s still playing some of the worst hockey I’ve seen in ages. I wouldn’t take him for $4,000,000 like this. Old Staal? Hell yes I’d trade for him. But I wouldn’t cash in any chips on the HOPE he bounces back.

    It was an imaginary trade to begin with, but still. Bad idea.

    • lonespeed - Dec 29, 2011 at 3:56 PM

      He’s 27. You’ve never heard of a star player going through a slump? Look around him. With Jeff Skinner out, there isn’t an all-star on the roster.

      Hockey is a team sport, if your line mates aren’t getting it done, it’s unlikely you’ll get it done either.

      You think it was a coincidence Eric Staal was put on the same line as Sydney Crosby in the olympics last winter?

      • imaleafsfan - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:13 PM

        “”With Jeff Skinner out, there isn’t an all-star on the roster.””

        Sundin or Lemiux didn’t need an all star with them, they made the players around them, better

      • danphipps01 - Dec 29, 2011 at 6:34 PM

        Except, supposedly, Eric Staal. Emphasis on “supposedly.”

  3. aksnowman - Dec 29, 2011 at 4:03 PM

    As a Carolina STH, PLEASE take Eric and his salary to Toronto. That would allow the Canes the opportunity to spend money on young, quality players that are heading to their prime, not leaving it. We have the leadership with Sutter. Eric still has some play left on him, just not 8 million dollars worth a season in a smaller market. Again, please take him Toronto!

    • lonespeed - Dec 29, 2011 at 4:24 PM

      He’s 27 and the best player the organization has ever had.

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