NHL Trade Rumors: Penguins Will Never Get Equal Value in Jordan Staal Deal

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NHL Trade Rumors: Penguins Will Never Get Equal Value in Jordan Staal Deal
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The Pittsburgh Penguins must hope Jordan Staal is interested in signing a long-term deal. If he isn't, they will be left without leverage but still seeking to deal their 23-year-old star.

Staal could go elsewhere, and I believe his game would go to the next level, and that is part of the issue the Pens are facing.

Is Staal looking for a fresh start for a team that allows him to see more ice time?

TSN's Bob McKenzie tweeted:

As a pending free agent, Staal has the Penguins in a tough spot. Pittsburgh could have traded him last season, and it would have been in better control of the situation. But as Mackenzie mentioned, it wants to keep Staal.

Who can blame the Penguins? He's young, big, talented and proven. That's generally a combination you want to hold on to. He's also coming off arguably his best year in 2011-12 where he scored 25 goals and had 25 assists.

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The 50 points was the highest point total of his career, and his plus-11 was his third highest +/- total.

With his diminished trade value, due to his impending free agency, the Pens have to throw money at this problem. With the health of Sidney Crosby a concern, the Penguins need to maintain quality centers for depth.

They have the luxury of three elite centers with Crosby, Staal and Evgeni Malkin, but if you take Crosby out of the picture, Staal's presence becomes more of a need than a luxury.

If Pittsburgh has to field offers for Staal, it won't have a problem finding suitors, but it can expect to be low-balled during the process.

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