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Canes’ J. Staal to face Pens’ Sutter for first time since trade

Feb 28, 2013, 8:58 AM EDT

Jordan Staal Eric Staal

Pittsburgh Penguins forward Brandon Sutter admitted that playing against the Carolina Hurricanes tonight (7:00 p.m. ET) for the first time since he was traded will be “awkward,” according to the News & Observer.

Imagine how Carolina Hurricanes forward Jordan Staal feels, who sparked the Pittsburgh-Carolina trade by rejecting the Penguins 10-year contract extension.

“People on TV were talking about details (a reported $60 million offer), and I know they’re only guessing,” Staal said in a Pittsburgh Tribune-Review report.

“I wondered what the guys were thinking. It must have been tough for them, too. It was not a great situation. I think the guys were happy for me, but we all really tried to avoid talking about it.”

After the trade, Staal signed a similar 10-year, $60 million contract extension with the Hurricanes. In Carolina, he has the opportunity to get out from under Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin‘s shadow and, perhaps more importantly, a chance to play alongside his older brother, Eric Staal.

The younger Staal doesn’t think playing against Pittsburgh will ever “get normal.” Still, the first match should be particularly special.

“It’s going to be fun,” Staal said. “Obviously I was (in Pittsburgh) for a long time and I have a lot of fond memories with that organization. I’ve seen it a lot, being in Pittsburgh and seeing other guys (leave). Now to be on the other side is a little different.

“It’s just going to be fun to play against those guys and just try to beat them.”

  1. jpelle82 - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:08 AM

    better headline wouldve been staal faces crosby. dont think he will be out there vs sutter much as sutter will probably going up against the #12 and #28 line as jordan will be up against #87. should be interesting to see how effective he is against crosby since no one else has necessarily shut him down yet. both have been good for their respective teams, no clear winner in the trade has emerged which is what you like to see i guess

  2. sportsfreak13 - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:18 AM

    I can’t fault Jordan one bit for wanting to play with his brother. I wish him nothing but the best and cant wait to give him a standing ovation when he comes to town for the last home game of the regular season. Without his goals in in games 4 and 6 the pens don’t win the cup in 09. I still recall seeing his game 4 shorthanded goal live and remember how much life it gave our team and IMO changed the series. Thanks for the memories Jordan and good luck.

  3. f2maestro - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:31 AM

    I along with the Penguins PK miss Jordan. I don’t see him shutting down Crosby tonight though.

    Tonight’s game will be a fun one to watch.

  4. steelpenbucs87 - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Can’t wait for this game tonight. In a condensed season there seems to be a great game each week, but this is one of I’ve been looking forward to for a while.

    Staal is such a talent and while I wish he could have stayed in Pittsburgh, but I understand that he a) wanted to play with his brother and b) wanted the opportunity to play more meaningful minutes which is hard behind Geno and Sid.

    When healthy he was an integral part of the Pens success and I wish him nothing but the best long term… I just hope he’s a -4 with three turnovers and a goose egg in face-offs this evening.

  5. ironcity6pak - Feb 28, 2013 at 9:33 AM

    The guy wanted to play with his brother, what’s wrong with that. He played many years with the pens and and did great things with them. Now it’s his turn to make him self happy.

  6. huberdeau11 - Feb 28, 2013 at 10:27 AM

    Am I the only one who feels Jordan Staal is one of the league’s more overrated players. Certainly a good talent, but take away his name and draft position and he’s a boarder line 2nd line centre IMO.

    When 87 & 71 went down with injuries I never recall him playing at a level above his 3rd line role in Pittsburgh.

    • pajabroni - Feb 28, 2013 at 11:08 AM

      Yes. Yes you are.

      While in Pittsburgh, he was one of the most underrated players in the league, but that is often the case for forwards who play large defensive roles. Each night Jordan was responsible for taking away the opponents top lines and the majority of the time he did so with great success.

      When 87 and 71 went down with injuries, most teams would not survive losing such great talents. If you remember correctly, Staal was a part of the organizational depth that kept the penguins afloat and right in the thick of the Eastern Conference race.

      Fun Fact: He actually is averaging less time on the ice in Carolina than he had in his final season in Pittsburgh.

      No Pittsburgh fan should have any ill will towards him. Phenomenal player, person. Wish him nothing but the best except against the Penguins.

    • jpelle82 - Feb 28, 2013 at 11:41 AM

      you might be the only one…if you can get 20+ goals consistently from a 3rd line center you are in pretty good shape, nothing overrated about it considering you get a shutdown defensive guy and one of the best penalty killers in the league to boot. he played 62 games last year and had 25 goals, and had a career high in points (50) – that was with crosby out for most of it. now whether jordan believes he is a bonafide 2nd or 1st line center is up to him and his current employer but what we saw in pittsburgh was the league’s best 3rd line center and he couldnt be overrated by anyone w/ half a brain in that position. judging by your namesake, there might be some sour grapes because he is playing in your division now i would guess…

  7. malkinrulez - Feb 28, 2013 at 10:55 AM

    I would never say Jordan is over rated but I’m not sure he is a sniper. Although he now has the chance to show that in Carolina . Jordan is a great player who is unselfish and wish him the best.

  8. drunk4thliners - Feb 28, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Certainly a lot of positive comments on Jordan and his situation and all that. The Pens may end up getting the most out of this trade, but I agree there’s no clear winner yet. Too bad we couldn’t have kept Staal and sent TK to Carolina. Or anywhere for that matter. Should be a good game with two good goalies and each team hunting for a good win. Just someone please tell then to STAY OUT OF THE BOX!

  9. csilojohnson - Feb 28, 2013 at 1:27 PM

    No way Stall is overrated. Top 3 2 way player in the game. He does the little things so well. Great on the PK.

  10. steelers88 - Feb 28, 2013 at 1:31 PM

    Staal looks weird in red.

  11. Steeley McBeam - Feb 28, 2013 at 3:28 PM

    No hate for Jordan he was a great player for the Pens. His refusal to take the $50 mill should free up plenty of money to resign Geno and Letang so we can thank him for that.

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