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Penguins deal Jordan Staal to the Hurricanes

June 22, 2012 will be a day that Jordan Staal will never forget. Not only did he get married, but he was also traded to the Carolina Hurricanes, from the Penguins, to play with his older brother Eric. Staal has been a third line center with the Penguins for the past few seasons mainly because of the presence of Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby ahead of him on the Pens depth chart. Staal finished last season with 25 goals and 25 assists in 62 games for Pittsburgh and scored six goals and three assists in six postseason games.

In return, the Penguins received the number eight selection in the 2012 draft, as well as defenseman Brian Dumoulin, and center Brandon Sutter. Staal had reportedly rejected a 10-year contract extension worth $60-million (according to Sportsnet & New York Post) by the Penguins a couple of days before the trade. Staal was originally drafted by Pittsburgh with the club’s second overall selection in the 2006 entry draft.

Shortly after the trade was announced at the Draft in Pittsburgh, the Penguins used the draft choice they received in the deal to take 18-year-old defenseman Derrick Pouliot of the Western Hockey League’s Portland Winterhawks. Before selecting Pouliot, Penguins general manager Ray Shero thanked the 23-year-old Staal for six excellent years in Pittsburgh and said he played a huge part of the team’s Stanley Cup win in 2009.

Jim Rutherford, the general manager and president of the Hurricanes, said that Staal is an elite hockey player who has the rare combination of size, scoring ability, defensive responsibility, and speed. He said Staal is still a young man, but already posses plenty of NHL experience. He added that he hopes Staal will blossom in Carolina where he can play next to his brother Eric, who captains the Canes.
Rutherford said that he spoke with Shero prior to the draft and the deal was made around 6:45 p.m. Staal is a free agent at the end of next season and Rutherford hopes to sign him to a new deal as soon as possible. Staal, who hails from Thunder Bay, Ontario, is coming off of his sixth season in the NHL. He has played 431 games in the regular season and has scored 248 points compiling 120 goals and 128 assists. He also has a plus/minus rating of plus 53. He has added 23 goals and 13 assists for 36 points in 73 postseason games to date.

The 23-year-old Sutter, heading to Pittsburgh, still has two years remaining on his contract and was chosen 11th overall in the 2007 entry draft.  Sutter scored 17 goals and 15 assists for 32 points with Carolina last season in 82 regular season games. He has 53 goals and 54 assists for 107 points in 286 regular season games over his short career thus far.

The 20-year-old Dumoulin, also heading back to Pittsburgh, played with Boston College last season and helped them to win the NCAA championship. He signed an entry-level contract with Carolina recently after spending the last three seasons at Boston College. He scored seven goals and 21 assists for 28 points last year in 44 games and was also named as a top-ten finalist for the annual Hobey Baker Award as the best American college hockey player.

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