As Noon came on Sunday, the National Hockey League (NHL) initiated its signing period for unrestricted free agents to agree to terms on new deals with their current team or a new one.
The waiting game for the Carolina Hurricanes and local media assembled at PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C. began, but with some enticing news coming beforehand.
Jim Rutherford, Carolina Hurricanes President and General Manager announced that the team had agreed to terms with center Jordan Staal on a 10-year contract.
The deal begins with the 2013-14 NHL season and extends through the 2022-23 season, paying Staal $6 million per season.
“We are very pleased that Jordan has chosen to commit to the Hurricanes organization and to make North Carolina his home,” said Rutherford.
“At 23 years old he is just starting to come into his prime, and he now represents a cornerstone of our franchise for the long term.”
For the second weekend in a row, the Hurricanes have made announcements that have many around the league truly believing that the organization is making serious strides to improve and become a playoff-contending team.
After striking the deal to get Staal just before the 2012 NHL Entry Draft began last weekend, Carolina made Staal’s contract announcement just before free agency began.
As Rutherford answered questions regarding Staal’s new deal, he acknowledged the point.
“The perception has changed about the Carolina Hurricanes,”said Rutherford. “It’s exciting for us because we’re in the mix this year.”
The contract is the longest term agreement that Rutherford has signed a player to while with the Hurricanes, and one that the Pittsburgh Penguins helped to pave the way for.
The Penguins had made a similar offer to Jordan which he subsequently refused knowing that he had the chance to sign and play with brother Eric in Carolina.
“It was important for us to know that his commitment to stay here that long a term was really good,” said Rutherford.
Additionally, Eric’s deal with the Hurricanes extends through the 2015-2016 season, and it would be a good bet that he would sign an extension knowing brother Jordan will be in Raleigh for a while.
Not a bad strategy to use at all.
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