Pens, Staal reach extension worth $16 million
NASHVILLE -- He's wanted to "get it done" for a few months, and today was the day.
Center Jordan Staal has signed a four-year extension worth $16 million to stay with the Penguins. The deal was announced this morning by general manager Ray Shero, who made good on his plan to keep Staal, the youngest player in NHL history to appear in at least 200 games, in the fold at an affordable annual salary-cap hit ($4 million).
Staal, 20, said "there was no question (he) wanted to stay." He was set to become a restricted free agent July 1.
"It wasn't weighing on my mind too much," Staal said. "In my mind, I was comfortable where I was and happy to be a part of this team."
Staal will play the rest of this season under his entry-level deal; the extension kicks in next season. He will become an unrestricted free agent when the extension expires, the youngest in NHL history at 24, his agent Paul Krepelka said.
Shero, who made Staal his first draft pick (second overall) in 2006, said this deal is good for the Penguins because "(they) hope (Staal's) best hockey is ahead of him."
"The system right now is you're playing these young players on potential," Shero said. "He's a kid that's going to get better as his career moves forward."
Shero said the deal, which is of market value, came together in the past two weeks.
"Everyone is looking for good young players and he fits that criteria," Shero said. "It was always our intention to try and sign Jordan and this helps to give us some certainty moving forward."
Shero compared Staal's deal to the one signed by defenseman Ryan Whitney, who inked a six-year contract worth $24 million in July 2007 to avoid becoming a restricted free agent.
Start next season, the Penguins will have Crosby, Malkin, Staal, Whitney, defenseman Brooks Orpik and goalie Marc-Andre Fleury signed through 2012-13 at $34.15 million. The NHL salary cap this season is at $56.7 million, though it could decrease after next season due to decreased ticket sales in the current economic climate.
Staal, 20, has scored 11 goals and 21 points this season. He has averaged over 20 minutes of ice time per game, a career-best.
That average ice time proved to Staal that he would garner scoring-line forward minutes despite rating behind Crosby and Malkin on the depth chart - essentially assuring a deal with the Penguins could be reached.
"Jordan made no secret he wanted to remain a Penguin," Krepelka said. "The reason this didn't get done in the summer was he wanted to see where he fit. Now, Jordan has no complaints how he's being used. Once that became clear, that he would be used as more than just a No. 3 center, we wanted to get the deal done."
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Penguins notebook: Dupuis’ absence will alter roles on penalty kill
- Fleury denied 300th win as Penguins lose to Islanders in shootout
- Penguins notebook: Fleury awaits word on when he’ll vie for 300th victory
- Replacing versatile Dupuis could prove difficult for Penguins
- Rossi: For Penguins’ Dupuis, family must come first
- Penguins notebook: Dupuis to miss Penguins game in Montreal
- New assistant Agnew has Pens’ PK, defense among league’s best
- Starkey: Pens move on with, without Dupuis
- Penn State notebook: Mangiro’s flexibility has helped young offensive line
- Penguins defenseman Maatta makes his return in win over Canadiens
- Therrien, Gonchar not missing a beat after reuniting in Montreal