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

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 22:  Jordan Staal #11 of the Pittsburgh Penguins skates the puck against the Philadelphia Flyers in Game Six of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center on April 22, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The Flyers won the game 5-1 to eliminate the Penguins from the playoffs.  (Photo by Paul Bereswill/Getty Images)
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
Brian MaziqueCorrespondent IIIJune 20, 2012

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:

My take on Jordan Staal situation: PIT doesn't want to trade him, wants to sign him and may make him a long-term (7 to 10 yrs maybe?) offer.

— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 20, 2012

 

At that point, it would be up to Staal to commit long term to Pens or not sign. If it's not, PIT would have to explore trade options.

— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 20, 2012

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.

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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