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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.”

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