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Ray Shero sure doesn’t sound like he wants to trade Jordan Staal

May 16, 2012, 9:36 AM EST

Ray Shero, Sidney Crosby Getty Images

The Penguins’ offseason could be a very interesting one and general manager Ray Shero would love to keep the drama level low. With rumors swirling around about Jordan Staal perhaps wanting to blossom elsewhere (Carolina, perhaps?) and one more year left on his and Sidney Crosby‘s contracts, Shero knows he’s got some work to do.

Dave Molinari of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talks to Shero about what his plans are for the summer and it doesn’t sound like trades are on his mind at all. Instead, he’d like to keep Crosby, Staal, and Evgeni Malkin (two years left on his deal) around for a while.

“I’d like to do that, if possible,” he said. “We’re looking at hopefully getting extensions with [Crosby and Staal].”

While it is conceivable that Staal, the team’s No. 3 center, might want to play elsewhere so he can fill a more offense-oriented role, he apparently has not said anything of the sort to the Penguins. Asked if any of the top three centers had expressed a desire to move, Shero responded, “Absolutely not.”

Wanting to do it and being able to do it in the salary cap world are two different things, obviously, but Shero is going to have to be shrewd if all three players are going to stay in Pittsburgh. The only guy immune from trade rumors is Crosby as even Malkin’s name was thrown around by TSN’s Darren Dreger as a trade possibility should the Pens want to keep Staal.

  1. flyersgoalscoredby88 - May 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Orange glasses aside, the hockey fan in me will be following this closely.

    Gonna be interesting for the Pens…Jordan is in a very unique situation. He’s an ideal #3 center, he could be the #2 on probably 20-25 teams, so if he wants personal glory he’ll have a lot of options. I don’t think he is a true #1 center going off of his time as Pitt’s #1 center in the spring of 2011, but I’m sure a lot of teams looking for a young potential #1 center (Toronto, Montreal, Buffalo, Calgary, etc) would love to give him the chance. Even if you pay him $5M a season and he doesn’t work out as a #1, he’s gonna give you a return on the investment anyway if you shift him down a line and ask him to shut down the other team’s top line.

    I honestly think he’ll contribute to winning no matter where he goes, but he has the option of making less in Pittsburgh, moving to a major market like Toronto and being a mid 20s millionaire with a city like that at his beck and call, or starting a family legacy in Carolina. That’s a tough call. Raleigh and Pittsburgh are more or less equal as far as cities go, with Raleigh having way better weather, while Toronto is the center of the hockey world and a world class city.

    If he wants to stay in Pittsburgh he’ll certainly be in a winning situation, but he’ll never have the wingers or other support around him he’ll need if he wants to make the Hall of Fame or win any individual accolades besides the Selke. Without knowing him, I don’t know how much this matters to him.

    If I were Jordan, I would have to think long and hard about the legacy you can follow in Pittsburgh versus the legacy you can create in Raleigh. Just think, if Jaret ever gets ambition, you could have 3/4 of the Staal brothers become Canes lifers…and who knows if Marc would leave NYC for Raleigh to join his brothers. They could own that organization in a way no family has ever had a chance to define an organization.

    Tough call for Jordan and the Pens. The Pens could certainly find a #3 center capable of filling Jordan’s defensive responsibilities for a lot cheaper, and it’s not like they need the offense on the third line when you figure the upgrades you could get at winger for Crosby (assuming Neal stays with Malkin). If I were Jordan, I think I’d go to Carolina, but only bc of the appeal of playing with family. If not for family it would have to be Toronto or Pittsburgh. For a man who already has a Cup ring Toronto would be appealing, though I’d stay in Pittsburgh.

    • bihler7 - May 16, 2012 at 10:52 AM

      flyersgoalscoredby88, good post, i do want to propose a scenario though to you that will make him want to stay and what pittsburgh tried to do 2 years ago before the rash of injuries to these 3 centers…put him on the same line with Malkin…look what it did for neal, i would expect a similar result for staal though he doesnt have the sniping ability neal does, however is a better creator for malkin so the goals and assists might be different, but the same point potential is clearly there, neal can go score 40 goals with sid and still be happy…

    • habsman - May 16, 2012 at 10:57 AM

      Great post.

    • bmscalise - May 16, 2012 at 12:31 PM

      There’s nothing insightful about this post at all. He’d decide to go to Toronto just because it’s Toronto? You base this assumption on what? J. Staal doesn’t strike me as someone who would like to live in a fish bowl.

      And Carolina? Carolina doesn’t even need centers: they need wingers and defensemen. Even if he’d like to play with his brother, it isn’t realistic.

      I desperately hope he stays, but if he doesn’t, I doubt either of these places is where he ends up.

      • miketoasty - May 16, 2012 at 12:42 PM

        Burke loves Staal, that’s no secret. He would give up a lot to get him.

        It’s already been said that one Staal could center and the other would play winger. Plus Jordan would love to play with his brother.

        I can almost guarantee if he doesn’t stay one of these two places is where he will end up. Tons of story’s about this online, go read a little.

      • jeffersonkostilnick - May 16, 2012 at 1:50 PM

        Carolina doesn’t have what it takes to trade for Staal. The only thing the Pens would want, Car won’t trade and that’s Skinner. They have nothing else of interest.

    • dad95 - May 16, 2012 at 4:58 PM

      I like your comment also but, “BLASPHOMEMY”,why not trade Sidney.Geno is a true#1 center,you have a #2 in Staal and what you could get for a GREAT GREAT player,who BTW is has concussion issues.The money saved would be great and the players/picks received would be help them to another cup more than CRybaBY would.The negative(of the trade) would be the fan base and fan apparel.Just a thought.

      • jpelle82 - May 16, 2012 at 5:37 PM

        though i myself would love it if they could trade crosby, he has a no trade clause. if he were willing to waive it, the pens would have to be tanking in the standings or really piss him off somehow. i dont think he will get re-signed, especially if he has another injury. if i were shero i would have my priority on 71, 11, 58, and 29.

  2. spavs412 - May 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Please keep all 3 I hope for amnesty for Paul Martin :(

    • miketoasty - May 16, 2012 at 12:48 PM

      Might be the only way we keep Staal is somehow getting rid of Martin. Upping Staal’s deal with even half of Martin’s contract ($5 million), then bring up Despres and you will still have money to spare, and a defenseman that actually knows what he is doing.

  3. jeffersonkostilnick - May 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    If Shero trades Staal I will crap my pants at work….. Oops. Too late. Boss is not going be pleased with this.

    • habsman - May 16, 2012 at 10:59 AM

      That’s twice now in the past couple of weeks. Better get that checked.

  4. darenpuppa31 - May 16, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    If the Rangers were able to trade Gomez, the Pens should be able to trade Martin to somebody desperate for defense (if there is no amnesty). Bring up Despres full time and you save yourself $4-5 mil to spend elsewhere, plus the cap may continue to rise. It just matters if Staal is happy with his current role.

    • jeffersonkostilnick - May 16, 2012 at 10:14 AM

      I don’t agree with suggesting the cap “MAY” continue to rise, per all accounts, it’s going to flatline if not drop eventually. That being said, the Pens will/could be able to trade Martin even with his NTC and NMC.

      Despress and Burtuzzo are more than ready to contribute to the top six along with Morrow waiting in the wings for the following season.

  5. jeffersonkostilnick - May 16, 2012 at 10:20 AM

    It’s not a question on whether or not the Pens are able to sign Staal b/c they very well can. They can fit him in the payroll. Drop Kennedy, Cooke and Adams. Bring up Tangradi and Jeffrey.

    It’s a question of whether or not Staal WANTS to be here. If he’s content with the organization and his role, he’ll sign. If he wants the opportunity to be a #2 (if not #1) center AND have the supporting cast, he’ll either test FA or get traded.

    For those of you saying he’s not a #1 center b/c of his play last year, please remember that last year he STILL had Cooke and Kennedy as his wingers. Letestu was the one who played with Neal (who by the way was in a serious slump) and Kovy/Kunitz.

  6. ironcity6pak - May 16, 2012 at 10:23 AM

    The only way Staal goes is if they are offered the number one pick in the draft. The Pens need to shed Paul Martin but that’s not likely to happen since he blows and no one wants that ugly contract. If they can get rid of Martin and put him somewhere he can make a difference I.e a team that plays the trap. We can sign stall now and worry about Crosby N Maklin later. Shero needs to think about these upcoming stars we have in the minors too. Either play them or trade them so we can sign our core group.

  7. sjm1717 - May 16, 2012 at 10:51 AM

    Flyersgoalscoredby88

    Staal is a very good number 2 center, not 3. He’d be a number 1 on many teams. Calling him only a solid three is a joke

    • biasedhomer - May 16, 2012 at 11:41 AM

      He is not a #1 center. He is a perfect #2 center.

  8. ml3939 - May 16, 2012 at 11:03 AM

    From a personal standpoint he is shortchanging his own career if he stays in Pittsburgh behind Crosby and Malkin. Though if he stays, he has a greater chance to win. This guy would be a deadly number 2 center on any team. The kind of player teams would have nightmare’s planning games around as he is so effective at both ends of the ice. Sometimes he is scarier than the big two because of what he does at the other end of the ice. As a Flyers fan, I hope he has aspirations of playing out west.

  9. pajabroni - May 16, 2012 at 11:48 AM

    Shero will sign Staal. Jordan was Shero’s first draft pick ever…and he has turned out to be an extremely profitable one. Something has to be said for that.

    I truly think 87 takes much less than his market value to give that extra wiggle room. Everyone would be naive to think Sid makes his money from his NHL contract. Gatorade and Reebok provide plenty. The NHLPA was frustrated when he took only 8.7 his last contract and to be honest, I don’t think he will take more than that this time around too.

    Martin won’t have a home in Pittsburgh for long. Defense is a commodity in this league. There are teams out there that will be able to implement Martin into their systems. At the end of the season, Shero made a point of stating how Martin’s season wasn’t as bad as everyone made it seem. He was hovering around a +15 through the final 25 games or so. Shero is shrewd, most likely saying this to hold Martin’s value on the open market. As the cap continues to rise, so does the cap floor. Teams will be forced to spend ala Florida taking on Brian Campbell’s contract (which turned out incredibly well)…expect a similar situation.

    As for Carolina getting Jordan…don’t count on it. Shero wouldn’t trade him to an Eastern conference team unless the return is overwhelming. Carolina doesn’t need centers versus defense and wingers. Not once has anyone heard it from Jordan’s mouth that he is unhappy with his role…and I think he knows that with 87’s concussion issues and 71’s knee that he is one unfortunate injury away from being depended on in a much greater role.

    Clearly I am a bit objective and hopeful that he stays, but i’d say from the way things have played out thus far…look for an uneventful summer in Pittsburgh…which will be a great thing.

  10. pone27 - May 16, 2012 at 2:43 PM

    Not to sound like an ***hole, but Pens fans on here are sounding like they are dreaming.

    Staal is a bonafide #2/can be argued #1 center. There is no way he wants to settle as the #3 center for the Pens anymore. Just because he is not being some loud mouth with the media does not mean he wants to earn #2 center money and be a full-time #2 at that. The guy deserves it hands down.

    Teams like Toronto, Carolina, and I will add them because they desperately need one, Chicago are going to make a strong push for a player like Staal. He brings a TON of intangibles to the table. You could say he is arguably one of the most underrated players in the game.

    Shero is going to the best he can to re-sign him for a discount, its really the only way its going to work to maintain the depth on the roster, and leave space for Malkin and Crosby. Ironcity6pak, you NEVER worry about signing Crosby later. If anything, you worry about that right now, for that will be a MUCH more difficult task to accomplish.

    If Staal somehow stays in a Pens uni, I would be surprised, but kudos to the Shero if he can pull it off.

  11. spavs412 - May 16, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    Staal makes 4.5 mill how much can he be worth ?

    • bihler7 - May 16, 2012 at 5:13 PM

      Staal makes only $4 spavs412 and i think he derserves anywhere from $5-$5.5 a season which the penguins can afford, but if he is asking for $6-$7 a year then things get dicey.

  12. latrobe21 - May 17, 2012 at 9:06 AM

    It would kill me to see Staal leave. He has improved his game so much over the past couple of years and is a very valuable part of the team. Free up money for Staal by getting rid of Martin and Makaelik and any other over-paid, under-performing defenseman. Would have been better off keeping the Hal Gills for $2 million / year . . .

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