The whole debate on whether or not the Hurricanes "won" the Jordan Staal trade will probably go on forever and at this point, I've kind of stopped caring. The Hurricanes wanted to get a top-tier player and paid a big price in order to get Jordan. After last season, most would consider this trade a big loss for the Hurricanes because Jordan didn't have the big "breakout" season that everyone was hoping for. Not that 30 points in 48 games is anything to scoff at, seeing how it would be pro-rated to 50-51 points over 82 games, but the general consensus was that Jordan didn't make much of an impact in his first year with the Canes.
Players are always going to be judged by goals and points, especially by outsiders, but anyone who keeps up with this blog knows that I thought Jordan had a better year than most would indicate. Mostly because of all of his contributions that didn't show up on the scoresheet (killing penalties, making the Canes a better possession team, etc.) but still, more offense is going to be expected from him now that he is entering the first year of his ten-year, $60 mil. contract.
This season, most of the talk around Jordan has been positive. He has been one of the Hurricanes best forwards this year and his line with Nathan Gerbe & Patrick Dwyer was the only thing the Canes had going for them over the few few games. He has also contributed nicely on both special teams units and is a big reason why the Canes PK looks drastically improved compared to last year. His all-around play has been so good that you wouldn't know that he has only two points in nine games.
Again, I hate using that as a basis to judge a player but there is more expected out of the former Pittsburgh Penguin this season and that means he will need to produce more offensively. Personally, I think that the goals and points will come to Staal as long as he keeps doing what he is doing (driving the play, creating chances, etc.), but he may need some help from both his teammates and the coaching staff to really have a breakout year.no comments