Staal brothers want to get 'Canes back in playoffs
Posted June 26, 2012
Raleigh, N.C. — At most weddings, the time between dinner and dessert is reserved for dancing, toasting or socializing – the activities that fill photo albums and memory banks.
For the Staal family, which celebrated 23-year-old Jordan's wedding this past weekend, that time was filled with both shock and excitement as everyone at the reception learned that former Pittsburgh Penguin Jordan had been traded to his big brother's team.
For Eric Staal, Carolina's captain, learning the news before having dessert was fitting.
"It was a nice, sweet surprise to me," he told The Insiders Tuesday morning on 620 The Buzz. "The draft was on in the lobby and our agent was down there. It happened, and he pulled myself and Jordan out right away to tell us."
It didn't take long for the news to spread through the crowd, a crowd filled with family members and Penguins, many of whom Jordan became close with in his five years in Pittsburgh.
"It was shocking at first and a little emotional," Eric Staal said Tuesday. "He had a lot of his teammates there enjoying a special day, and knowing he wasn't going to be there next year was a little tough. But once he looked at the big picture, he was excited. It was a cool night – a little hectic, but great."
The hectic schedule will likely continue for Jordan Staal, who will celebrate his nuptials by moving to Raleigh and becoming the third member of his family in the Hurricanes organization. Jared Staal, the youngest of the four Staal brothers, was with the AHL's Charlotte Checkers in 2011-12.
"It's a lot easier (on our parents)," Eric Staal quipped Tuesday. "They love coming down here. They love Raleigh, and now it just gives me another chance to send them to another house when they come down. They don't always have to stay with me."
While it isn't clear how head coach Kirk Muller will incorporate the newest Staal – also a center – into the lineup, Eric Staal said Tuesday that the addition of an "extremely balanced two-way player" makes the Hurricanes better right away.
"We'll have discussions about our lineup and what gives us the best opportunity to win," Eric Staal said. "Having us 1-2 down the middle would be two solid lines, but if they feel we have a better opportunity to win games with me on the wing, I'm happy to do that."
If Muller decides to put both Eric and Jordan Staal on Carolina's top line, it wouldn't be a first for the brothers. The pair spent time on the same line during a game in the 2007 World Championships in Moscow, an event Canada won.
Regardless of how the lineups look in October, Eric said he and his brother are ready to lead the Hurricanes back to the playoffs, a place the organization hasn't been since the 2008-09 season.
"We're very fortunate that Jim (Rutherford) was able to string a deal together and make it happen," Eric Staal said of the trade that sent Brandon Sutter, Brian Dumoulin and the No. 8 pick to Pittsburgh. "I added a brother, but we added a great player, too."