Yesterday, Jordan Staal turned down an offer of a 10 year contract extension with the Pens. There is no indication yet from Staal’s agent on if Staal is simply looking for a different amount of years/money, wants to test the free market on July 1, 2013 when his current contract expires, or wishes to be traded this year.
In my opinion, Staal did the right thing for his career in turning down the 10 year deal- at least for now. There is much to consider for Staal around his future in the NHL.
Ten years is nothing to scoff at. Staal is 23 years old (24 in September). Another decade on the same team has many implications as far as Staal’s development is concerned. Staal’s talent level dictates that he is worthy of playing on one of the top two lines on a team. His defensive prowess will most likely win him a Selke Award before the end of his career if he can stay healthy. Additionally, his leadership ability could put a C on his jersey on another team.
Sidney Crosby is currently looking for a 10-year deal himself according to recent reports. If Crosby signs for 10 years, this certainly affects Staal’s career, especially with Malkin still under contract for another two seasons. Coming off of a breakout season with James Neal and Chris Kunitz on his wing, Malkin will NOT be moved to the third line and a healthy Crosby will still leave Staal on a third line with less ice time, scoring opportunity, and time for development.
Also, let’s say that the rumblings going around that Staal wants to be on the same team as one of his brothers is true. Ten years with the Pens will likely eliminate this opportunity for him unless the Pens were to acquire Eric, Marc, or one day possibly Jared.
Staal may simply be looking for less years or is seriously considering his role on the team. Unless he is moved to wing on one of the top two lines, he will still remain on the third line for the foreseeable future and this is a major hindrance to his overall career progression.
Additionally, the deal James Neal just signed and his 40 goal season will keep him mostly on the first line in the upcoming season. Staal at least needs to be moved to a second line left wing to get more ice time fitting of a guy of his caliber of play.
I’m not saying that Staal shouldn’t resign in Pittsburgh, I’m just saying that turning down 10 years isn’t bad for his career. With his wedding today and pending honeymoon, if Staal isn’t dealt tonight or tomorrow as a part of draft trades, I can’t see anyone receiving more word on Staal’s future with the Pens for a few more weeks. (Many believe that Staal will be traded to the Hurricanes.)
Oh, and the New York Times just posted musings of the Rangers going after Staal.
Again, everything here is speculation and just tossing around ideas. Please do not take any of this for fact. You can read more about the offer rejection here.