Penguins Shopping Jordan Staal; Predators Interested

Fred PoulinCorrespondent IFebruary 17, 2009

The Pittsburgh Penguins are currently listening to offers for young centre Jordan Staal, and many teams have expressed interest. Staal who is making $2.2M this season just signed a four-year contract extension worth $16M ($4M/year) with the Penguins.

The Penguins are silently shopping Staal in exchange for a top-six winger and a puck moving defenseman. The lack of offensive support for Crosby and Malkin is blatant this season and given the Penguins' depth at centre (Crosby, Malkin, Talbot, Thomas, and Zigomanis) they can afford to move Staal for other assets.

Staal, who has 31 points in 58 games, has garnered interest from the Nashville Predators. GM David Poile is shopping forward Martin Erat before his NTC kicks in next July. Erat, a speedy winger with good hands, has 35 points in 54 games with Nashville this season. He is making $4.5M/year until the 2014-15 season after having recently signed a contract extension. Poile would also send talented rearguard Dan Hamhuis to the Pens, while Mark Eaton would head to the Country Capital.

Newly-appointed head coach Dan Bylsma is looking to implement a more aggressive offense-oriented style of play and he needs quick players to achieve it. Erat and Hamhuis fit the bill, while Eaton gives Nashville a veteran presence on their young blue line. Eaton played five seasons for the Predators before joining the Penguins, so he is quite familiar with Barry Trotz style of play.

Pittsburgh gives

Staal $4M/year

Eaton $2M/year

for

Erat $4.5M/year

Hamhuis $2M/year

GM Ray Shero needs to move fast in order to give his team a chance to get back in the playoff race, while GM David Poile is looking more long term even if he wants to make the playoffs as well.

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