Is Carolina interested in re-signing Eric Staal?

Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman go over all the top stories from the NHL, including where Travis Hamonic could end up and the future of Eric Staal.

From ownership to the contract status of their No. 1 player, there are many questions being asked about the Carolina Hurricanes‘ future right now.

Sportsnet’s Damien Cox raised a few more during Saturday’s Headlines segment on Hockey Night In Canada, asking not if Eric Staal was interested in staying in Carolina, but whether the Hurricanes were interested in keeping their captain.

“Right at the end of the month, the Eric Staal camp is expecting to hear from Carolina, from Ron Francis,” said Cox. “Will they try to negotiate a contract with Eric Staal and with Cam Ward, or is the ownership situation in Carolina so difficult right now that they won’t be able to?”

If the latter proves to be the case, Staal could be traded as a rental — albeit an expensive one — for a contender looking to improve their squad come trade deadline day on Feb. 29. (New York Rangers? Montreal Canadiens?)

Or he, along with goaltender Cam Ward, whose contract situation is also up in the air, could enter free agency.

Staal voiced his opinion on the matter Thursday during an appearance on Hockey Central at Noon, saying he would like a deal to be made.

“I would like to [re-sign]. I haven’t talked a lot about anything, to be honest,” Staal said. “Obviously there’s decisions that need to be made moving forward.”

Staal has four goals and eight assists in 19 games this season, one in which Carolina is once again at the bottom of the standings.

He didn’t have anything negative to say about Francis or the in-limbo organization, adding that “There’s other guys in the league in the same situation as me.”

“It’ll work itself out,” he said. “And whatever way it goes, we’ll continue on.”

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