Penguins eye move for former center Staal
The Penguins are interested in reacquiring center Jordan Staal, sources told Trib Total Media.
A move likely would not take place until after the season, though the Penguins have inquired about what it would take to obtain the Carolina Hurricane before the March 2 trade deadline, sources said.
Such a move would require the Penguins to slash significant salary, as they are less than $1 million under the $69 million salary cap.
Staal signed a 10-year, $60 million contract in July 2012, days after the Penguins traded him to Carolina. Current Penguins general manager Jim Rutherford signed Staal to the deal after swapping center Brandon Sutter, defenseman Brian Dumoulin and the eighth overall pick in the 2012 draft.
Rutherford told the Trib five days ago he would like to acquire forward help.
Staal, 26, has a full no-trade clause in his contract, but sources close to Staal said he would forgo that if it meant returning to the Penguins.
Staal’s primary reason for signing with the Hurricanes was to play with older brother Eric, but both could be on the move.
Eric Staal is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2016. He will count $8.25 million against the Hurricanes’ cap next season before potentially hitting the market.
Jordan Staal spent his first six seasons in Pittsburgh, scoring 120 goals and tallying 248 points in 431 games. He had a plus-53. In three seasons in Carolina, Staal has 28 goals and 85 points in 151 games. He is a minus-17.
Reacquiring Staal would mean a reunion with Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. That three-center model carried the Penguins to the Stanley Cup Final in 2008 and ’09.