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Jordan Staal traded to Hurricanes

Well, I suppose it was only a matter of time, but Jim Rutherford finally pulled the trigger on Draft Day.  The ‘Canes picked up Eric Staal’s younger brother, Jordan, from the Penguins in exchange for defensive prospect Brian Dumoulin, the 8th overall pick in the 2012 draft (Derrick Pouliot) and Brandon Sutter.

Brandon Sutter is Pittsburgh-bound after being dealt for Jordan Staal.
PHOTO CREDITS: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

First off, I’d like to wish Brandon the very best.  He was considered part of the young core that would be built around for the future.  He has really come a long way, and has quickly made his name known as one of the better defensive forwards in the league.  Of course, with a name like Sutter, it comes to no one’s surprise that he has found success early on in his career.  He was a leader on and off the ice, being given one of the “A”s last season.  His work around the community was well documented as well.  He will surely be missed by both the fans and the organization.

But onto the trade.  When I first looked at it, I thought that it was a huge overpayment on Carolina GM Jim Rutherford’s part.  I probably would’ve lived with Brandon Sutter + Dumoulin or Sutter + the 8th pick.  But all three?  Now that I think about it, I think the 8th overall pick isn’t too bad.  This is one of the weaker drafts in recent memory, so it doesn’t really hurt to not have a pick in the first round this year.  However, it definitely would’ve been nice to draft Filip Forsberg or one of the plethora of solid defensemen still available.

Brian Dumoulin was a solid prospect for the Hurricanes organization, especially when you consider how weak they are in the farm system when it comes to defensemen.  Aside from Ryan Murphy, there really isn’t a whole lot.  However, with the emergence of Justin Faulk last season, I guess that Rutherford thought that Dumoulin was expendable.

Finally, the biggest piece of the puzzle.  Jordan Staal himself.  Everyone knew that he would be on his way out of Pittsburgh sooner or later.  It’s hard to really showcase your true potential and talents when you’re stuck behind the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin on the depth chart.  To be putting up the kind of numbers that he has in his career thus far is pretty remarkable, considering he plays with third-line wingers on most nights.  Like Sutter, he is considered one of the best two-way forwards in the league.  This was made evident when he was a finalist for the Selke in 2010.

Jordan Staal is now reunited with his brother, Eric, in Carolina.
PHOTO CREDITS: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

Of course, his offensive game is just as great.  He definitely has more of an upside in the offensive category when compared to Brandon Sutter.  After all, he’s “only” scored 20 or more goals in 4 of his first 6 seasons in the NHL.  He will surely add some much needed offense for the ‘Canes.  Oh yeah, and let’s not forget about the playoff experience he brings to the table.

Now, the question is whether he will be slotted on the first line (with Eric moving to the wing) or the second line.  Only time will tell what coach Kirk Muller has up his sleeves.

Overall, I think it’s a pretty fair trade once you break it down.  Only time will tell if any time really “won” the trade.  But for now, we will have to wait and see, especially if Rutherford has more moves on the way.  Goodbye Brandon Sutter, and welcome to Carolina, Jordan Staal.

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