Here’s what Eric Staal is looking for in free agency
You won’t find many free agents with as mysterious a path as the one that’s ahead for Eric Staal.
How much of a step back will Staal be willing to take following a whopping $57.75 million contract? Will a tepid rental run with the New York Rangers and lean years with the Carolina Hurricanes make for a really weak market?
Staal’s agent Rick Curran faces a delicate balancing act in managing offers and Staal’s pride. He shed some interesting light on the situation to NHL.com’s Tom Gulitti on Tuesday.
Who is interested
Most interestingly, a Hurricanes reunion isn’t totally out of the question:
Door is not completely closed on Eric Staal returning to Carolina, but he's looking at other options/ challenges right now.— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) June 28, 2016
Curran says there are three-to-four suitors overall, according to Sportsnet’s John Shannon.
What Staal wants
We know that E. Staal is looking for the following factors, via reports from Shannon and Gulitti:
- He wants a top-six role and wants to play as a center.
- To help his cause, Staal isn’t expecting a long-term contract.
Of course, the most interesting question (“Can Staal stomach a huge drop in money?”) wasn’t answered.
A quick look at Staal’s value
Again, Staal was a borderline disaster with the Rangers, especially in failing to generate a single point in New York’s five-game playoff loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
He was also the face of a Hurricanes franchise that didn’t get a sniff of the playoffs in ages.
Simply put, he struggled to justify his enormous former contract. That said, if you can look beyond declining scoring numbers, his possession stats indicate that he can at least help someone.
Curran deserves every penny from his cut of a deal if he can get Staal a generous dollar amount and the prominent role he craves.