When the Pittsburgh Penguins traded Jordan Staal to the Carolina Hurricanes in the summer of 2012, it split up the most dominant three-headed monster of centres that overwhelmed opponents and helped the Penguins to back-to-back Stanley Cup finals in 2008 and 2009, of which they won the latter.
But could Staal and the Penguins come back together? According to a report from Josh Yohe of the Pittsburgh Tribune, the Penguins are interested in re-acquiring the centre – and Staal is interested in returning, too.
Rutherford told the Trib five days ago he would like to acquire forward help.
Staal, 26, has a full no-trade clause in his contract, but sources close to Staal said he would forgo that if it meant returning to the Penguins.
Staal's primary reason for signing with the Hurricanes was to play with older brother Eric, but both could be on the move.
Eric Staal is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2016. He will earn $8.15 million next season before potentially hitting the market.
Since Jordan Staal was traded to Carolina in the summer of 2012, Brandon Sutter hasn’t been able to fill his shoes. Jordan also hasn’t been the same player since moving down south. Once a 25-goal scorer and 50-point getter with a seeming potential for more, Staal has struggled on offence with the Hurricanes and has managed only three goals in 22 games this season.
The Penguins are currently less than $1 million under the salary cap and Yohe pointed out the team would need to shed a considerable amount of salary to be able to take on Staal’s 10-year, $60 million contract he signed in 2012.