The Carolina Hurricanes have locked up their franchise player, Eric Staal, for seven more years at a franchise-like price of $8.25 million per season. The deal commences on July 1st, 2009 and will run through the 2015/'16 season, worth a grand total of $57.75 million.
Staal, 23, a top 10 scorer a few seasons ago, can do great things for your hockey pool team and will be bringing that sort of success back to the Hurricanes for the next eight seasons. Last season, Staal took the reins when injuries hit the team to record 38 goals and 44 assists in all 82 games. Staal has been one of the more durable superstars in the league over the last few seasons, which should increase his value come draft day.
As a poolie, I hold Staal in very high esteem, ranking him higher than some of the higher scorers, because of his durability and lessening the odds of missing games due to injury, although it's still a crap shoot.
For the Hurricanes, locking up Staal for seven more years gives them stability for a long time to come and someone to truly build around. If the Hurricanes can get another good season out of goaltender Cam Ward, they will likely extend his contract next summer, as his current deal is running out as well. Both players are currently under the age of 25, so they can be Hurricanes for a long time to come and keep up their credibility through the years.