06/25/23: The Hurricanes have now officially announced Staal’s extension, confirming the contract’s reported four-year term and $2.9MM average annual value. Hurricanes GM Don Waddell issued the following statement regarding the signing:
Jordan embodies what it means be a Hurricane. His leadership has been an integral part of our success, and the impact he has made on our organization cannot be overstated. We could not be more excited to sign him for four more years.
An aspect worth noting about this deal is its structure. Per PuckPedia, the extension will see Staal owed just a $775k base salary in the final year of the deal. While that number will likely be revised to the new minimum salary under the next collective bargaining agreement, it’s still quite a bit lower than what Staal has earned on a yearly basis throughout his career.
That structure and the four-year term of the deal have led some to speculate that the Hurricanes don’t plan on Staal playing out the full length of the contract, with the forward potentially ending his career before that lower-salary final year kicks in.
Since Staal won’t turn 35 until September, this extension won’t count as a 35+ contract against the cap, making that sort of speculation a bit more plausible.
06/24/23: Carolina Hurricanes fans can take a breath tonight, as they’re getting a key piece of business out of the way before the busiest week of the offseason. The team and captain Jordan Staal are nearing a contract extension, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reports Saturday night.
Staal’s extension is far from a surprise. Carolina may have a lot of choices to make when it comes to their depth forwards this offseason, but their captain was an obvious one to bring back with nearly $25MM in cap space this offseason (CapFriendly). He may be turning 35 before next season starts, but Staal was beyond elite in a shutdown role in 2022-23 while adding 17 goals and 34 points in 81 regular-season games.
That being said, it’s quite a commitment for a player set to be 38 when the deal expires. The good news is he doesn’t appear to be in any sort of steady decline, providing a consistent amount of offense over the past five years apart from a 2020-21 spike that saw him record 38 points in just 53 games.
He’ll play a key role on a team looking to load up on forwards this offseason and contend for a Stanley Cup yet again in 2023-24. Staal’s two-way dominance will be a huge advantage lower in the lineup – the three-man unit of Staal, Jordan Martinook and Jesper Fast controlled 70 percent of expected goals (MoneyPuck) when deployed together, a team-high number.
Assuming he finishes out this contract, Staal will become one of the longest-tenured players in franchise history with a 15-year stint. Since being acquired from the Pittsburgh Penguins in 2012, Staal has played 742 games in a Carolina jersey, currently sitting fourth among Hurricanes/Whalers skaters.