Jordan Staal, 'Canes hope to win fans back
Posted January 16, 2013
Raleigh, N.C. — With only three days left in an offseason that spanned more than six months, the Carolina Hurricanes are busy – both on the ice and off – preparing to welcome hockey back to the Triangle.
The club is offering tickets at reduced prices to generate interest ahead of two homes games next week, and head coach Kirk Muller and his staff are frantically trying to determine how best to use new talent added to the squad before the 113-day lockout began in September.
The most talked about addition, center Jordan Staal, said he is ready to hit the ice and try to find an answer to the question he's been asked countless times since agreeing to a 10-year deal with the 'Canes in July: "How do you think it will be to play with your brother?"
"We opened up a whole new can of worms with me coming here," Staal joked Wednesday when he spoke with Mike and Mark on 620 The Buzz.
Whether or not the Staals spend any time on the ice together is yet to be seen, but Jordan said the team as a whole is ready to be back after a lockout that eliminated almost half of the regular season games.
"It was a frustrating time, no question," Staal said. "For a player, you just want to play. For the business side to come out is a frustrating thing when you love the game so much. You were just kind of caught in limbo."
The limbo extended to fans as well, as the league and its players seemed close to a deal several different times during the fall. When a deal finally did happen, and players arrived at preaseason camp Sunday, Staal said he could tell that the team was ready to go.
"There is no better way to get the fans back in the rink than to go out and play as hard as we can," he said. "It's going to be exciting hockey this season. And with every game meaning more, hopefully it's going to be a good time."
Carolina's first regular season tilt comes Saturday evening at 7 p.m. when the Hurricanes visit the Florida Panthers.
"There are a lot of games in a short period of time," Staal said. "But all of the teams are in the same boat. Teams are going to be tired, but those in the best shape will be able to win games."
In Carolina's only preseason scrimmage Tuesday, Jordan Staal found himself in a familiar position when he faced off against his brother. Paired on a line with Jeff Skinner and Zac Dalpe, Staal scored one of two goals for his team in a 5-2 loss. Staal said playing on a line with Skinner, who tallied 64 points a season ago, is fine with him.
"Coach has to figure out and find the right guys to work on the same line," he said. "Skinner is going to figure out a way to make things happen every shift. We're both excited to play together. Hopefully, we can do some damage."