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About Last Season: Jordan Staal

The Hurricanes’ captain was once again a strong two-way force in what could have been his last season in a Hurricanes uniform.

Carolina Hurricanes v Florida Panthers - Game Four Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Jordan Staal: 2022-23 By The Numbers

  • Age: 34
  • NHL Seasons: 17
  • Scoring: 17 goals, 17 assists, 34 points in 81 games played
  • Playoff scoring: 2 goals, 6 assists, 8 points in 15 games played
  • Average TOI: 13:39 ES, 0:15 power play, 2:21 short handed

Our continued series looking back at the Hurricanes’ 2022-23 season brings us to the captain. In his 17th NHL season and 11th with the Hurricanes, Staal’s 17 goals and 34 points were fairly in line with what his production’s been in the last several full seasons, COVID-year scoring binge notwithstanding.

While his secondary scoring was certainly valuable to the Hurricanes, Staal once again made his living with his leadership as the team’s captain and stellar two-way play. The line of Jordan Martinook, Staal and Jesper Fast was matched up against the opposition’s top players on a nightly basis, and frequently held them off the score sheet.

Staal was a key factor in the Hurricanes boasting the second best penalty kill in the league, playing well over two minutes per game shorthanded and leading Hurricanes forwards in that regard.

In the playoffs, Staal’s two-way acumen played a key factor in the Hurricanes advancing to the Eastern Conference Final: his line with Martinook and Fast effectively made Jack Hughes a non-factor in the Hurricanes’ three home games against the New Jersey Devils.

Now, the Hurricanes and Staal have come to a crossroads. The 10-year, $6 million AAV extension that Jim Rutherford signed Staal to in 2012 is about to expire. It feels hard to believe Staal’s already been a Hurricane for over a decade. In that time, he’s been part of “the dark days” of the nine-year playoff drought, and also been a key factor in the Hurricanes’ return to relevance with five straight playoff appearances.

Staal, while never a flashy scorer, has established himself as one of the top players in team history. What’s amazing, too, is that that 10-year deal never truly turned into a “bad” contract. Was Staal always truly worth $6 million? No. Was that an exorbitant price to pay for his two-way play, secondary scoring and leadership? Certainly not.

Those types of deals almost always eventually turn into albatrosses, with the team desperately seeking a way to rid itself of the contract.

That never happened with Staal, which is to his and the Hurricanes’ credit.

Where does that leave the Hurricanes and Staal now? One would think it would be a simple matter to sign him to a new short-term, greatly price-reduced contract, with both sides indicating as much at the end of the season. However, TSN’s Trade Center recently reported the Hurricanes and Staal are at an impasse on contract talks.

Personally, I’d offer Staal a one-two year deal worth $2-3 million, but perhaps he’s seeking more than that.

If Staal does end up walking away from the Hurricanes, it would truly be the end of an era, but there’s still over a week for the two sides to come to a deal.

What say you, Canes fans? How do you rate Jordan Staal’s 2022-23 season? Do you want to see him back in the sightless eye next season?