NHL: Player Preview: Jordan Staal
When the 2012-13 season finally gets going (let’s hope it does), the Carolina Hurricanes will have a very different look than in previous years. First of all, Jeff Skinner will be back from an injury that took a big chunk out of his sophomore campaign, but also, the Hurricanes added two brand new faces to the club this past summer: Alexander Semin and Jordan Staal.
Jordan Staal spent his first six years in Pittsburgh and has a Stanley Cup ring from 2009. He is one of the better defensive forwards in the game, as his long reach helps him gain quite a few takeaways. He is also one of the better penalty killers in the NHL - something that Pittsburgh had a shortage of even before they traded him. However, Staal was overshadowed by two other centers in Pittsburgh (Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby) and was forced to play on the third line. Because of this, Staal expressed interest in a trade and the Penguins sent him south to play with his brother, Eric.
Staal should see an increase in points, as he will undoubtedly get more playing time with the ‘Canes than the Pens. It could also be expected that playing with Eric will have a positive influence on Jordan’s play, and the two may have excellent chemistry playing together on the same line (see: Sedin Twins). The issue is, however, the lockout could lead to this new-look Hurricanes team getting off to a rough start. Without training camp or practices yet, the team will have little time to get everyone accustomed to the roster changes and the team could struggle early on.
Nevertheless, Staal is always an excellent candidate for the plus/minus category being the defensive forward that he is, and the change in scenery and more ice time could definitely help him increase his output. He’s definitely worth a look for your fantasy team.
"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take" - Wayne Gretzky
Nicklas Lidstrom (all time), Shane Doan (current)
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