At the point when the NHL became populated with three Staal brothers (plus Jared in the AHL), talk started about the possibility of them uniting. Hurricanes fans of course pegged this meeting for Raleigh. Two-thirds of that (three-fourths if you count Jared) came to fruition on June 22, 2012 when the Canes paid the hefty price of Brandon Sutter, recent second-rounder Brian Dumoulin and the Canes 2012 first round pick (#8 overall). On that HUGE day in Jordan Staal’s life, he was married and started a new chapter with a new team in his NHL career. Shortly after the trade Staal signed a ten-year deal with the Hurricanes and also gained an assistant captain role positioning him to be a part of the team’s core for a long time to come.
Jordan Staal adds a physically imposing presence for the Canes first or second line and the elite shutdown capabilities that he developed in his 3rd-line role behind Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin in Pittsburgh. Whether you want to label him an elite shutdown center, a two-way player or whatever else, he brings a physical presence and a difficult matchup for even the elite players of the NHL.
In the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season which was his first as a Hurricane, Staal had ten goals and 21 assists in 48 games. He followed that up with 15 goals and 25 assists in 82 games in 2013-14. The Canes then learned just what he meant for the team’s lineup when he missed the first half of the 2014-15 season with a broken leg. The team floundered without him eating up a bunch of the hard minutes against the other teams’ best. The team improved when he returned and he united with brother Eric on “the Staal line.”
Now three years into his Hurricanes career, Jordan Staal has notched 31 goals and 64 assists, but the most meaningful chapters in his Canes career are still to be written when he helps lead the team back to the playoffs.