Tuesday, October 24, 2006

What to do with Jordan Staal?

I'm guessing that most in the Oilogosphere will say that PIT should send Staal back and enjoy his 26 year old season vs. his 18 year old season. I think I ordinarily like that argument myself, but if Staal is playing as your 2nd line C, and is your top PK F by minutes played, it's not nearly as easy a decision as, say, Schremp was last year at camp for the Oilers.

With Staal it is often mentioned that there's a 10 game cutoff in terms of sending him back to junior, but as far as I know that 10 game rule doesn't apply as an accrued season. All it means is that one of his 3 rookie years would be run off his contract if he plays 10 games or more this season. To burn off a year with regards to unrestricted free agency I believe Staal would need to play (be on the roster?) in 40 games this year. So I suppose PIT also has the option of keeping him for 35 games and, if he doesn't look ready at that point/isn't contributing enough to keep, sending him back to junior where a year would be burned from his 3 year rookie deal but he would still be 7 years from UFA.

And what a goal by Malkin tonight. Unbelievable goal.


The NHL's website gives some clarification regarding the differences between the 10 game mark, and the 40 game mark


Blogger Lowetide said...

If you're Pittsburgh and have no winning tradition in recent memory then I think you keep him if he's one of the 9 best available forwards. Based on how many elite young F's this team has they won't be able to keep all of them in 7 years anyway.

And the goal was sick. The pass in that game to Crosby was also stunning. I know finishing last sucks but when Crosby, Malkin, Staal and others are the payback it isn't all bad.

Kitchener looks like they're going to get a heckuva team.

10/25/2006 7:21 am  
Blogger Black Dog Hates Skunks said...

With Staal they might be a playoff team. With Philly and Jersey struggling they may be the second best team in that division right now

Maybe they keep him for 35 games, as you said, and if they are still afloat they keep him around.

Maybe they just keep him period. Grow these boys together.

10/25/2006 8:40 am  
Blogger Andy Grabia said...

Malkin is playing with Crosby, but he doesn't have to. He is a centreman. So they theoretically send Staal down, and bump Malkin down to create more offence over two lines. Personally, I think that is retarded, and that Malkin should play with Crosby and Staal should be the #2, but it is an option.

Whitney and Fleury are both playing well, too. This team could be scary.

10/25/2006 9:13 am  
Anonymous uni said...

With those 5 top picks in their lineup. And all of them playing like that. And if Fleury does finally come into his own in the NHL...I mean this is just disgusting, a team should not have that much talent just for losing for so many years. Pittsburg scares me.

10/25/2006 10:36 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

speeds, not sure about the possibility of sending him back to junior after more than 10 games. I think he becomes a pro and has to go to the AHL.

An interesting flip of the usual scenario. I think that developing Stall as quickly as possible to mesh with Malkin and Crosby is the best way to win tomorrow in this case. You do whatever develops Staal faster.

I dreamed of goals like Malkin's after seeing Traktor Boy's YouTube video. Seems Mikhnov is only in the same group with Malkin when it comes to litigation. Oh well.


10/25/2006 11:37 am  
Anonymous momentai said...


Jordan is 18 years old and if sent back to Juniors would join the Petes. There is no AHL option for him if the CHL restriction still holds.

I think that considering Jordan is aptly contributing to the Pens' success, he should probably remain on the team. You usually send down your youngsters because they aren't ready to help your team win on the big stage.

10/25/2006 12:44 pm  
Blogger dawgbone said...

I think speeds... the important question isn't whether you'd want Staal as an 18 year old or 26 year old, but if he makes a positive contribution to your team.

With the way he's playing, he's making that contribution, and Pittsburgh is a better team for it.

If it's enough to make them a competetive team night in and night out, then you have to keep the guy.

Young guys usually aren't great at helping you win, but there's some obvious exceptions, and the NHL seems to be getting a whack of these guys all at once.

10/25/2006 12:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

momentai - Thanks. What is "the CHL restriction"? Has anyone played more than the 10 games in the NHL and been sent back to junior?


10/25/2006 12:58 pm  
Blogger Showerhead said...

Wow, that was a little mindblowing. The part of his goal that impresses me the most is how hard he worked to make sure he was fighting off the D and then the presence of mind to reach around Brodeur (who obviously thought Malkin was out of ice to work with). Wow.

Pittsburgh is going to be a scary team someday in the not too distant future.

10/25/2006 5:30 pm  
Anonymous momentai said...


The restriction that was made and agreed upon by the CHL and AHL was that CHL players could not begin their career at the AHL level before 20 years of age. The CHL was fearful that teams would hoard players at the AHL level leading to a decrease in overall product quality in the 3 Canadian leagues.

There are exceptions, however. Spezza played with Binghamton when he was 19... though, I think he was a special case because he already played 4 years in Juniors.

10/25/2006 7:05 pm  
Anonymous uni said...

From what I hear about Staal and understand his contract kicks in after 10 games. So he'll be a pro and the 7 year clock starts ticking, regardless if he was able to be sent to the AHL which I don't know if he could be or not at 18.

10/26/2006 6:31 am  
Blogger Doogie said...

With the way the Penguins are currently built, on paper, anyway, they're one more elite rookie D away from being the 1980-81 Oilers. Young and still prone to mistakes, and consequently not elite yet, but very, very good nonetheless, and absolutely frightening to consider two or three years down the road once the kids have learned a thing or two about the NHL.

Maybe Winnipeg will finally get their Stanley Cup to go with all the Avco Cups.

10/26/2006 11:36 am  
Blogger Vic Ferrari said...

Stunning goal by Malkin there. I haven't seen enough of him to really have much of an opinion, but obviously that's big skill. And he lead the RSL in scoring last season, no? Sounds like the real deal to me.

And Crosby is obviously going to be a pretty special player. Mudcrutch had a couple of terrific posts on the subject a few months ago, comparing rookie seasons of stars from different era's with a bunch of common sense applied ... and Crosby and OV were up there. All the more impressive because Sydney was just 18 and his second half was excellent by any measure.

My point: Maybe PIT aren't that far off being a playoff team. If they think that Staal will develop faster on the big stage than in junior then they'll probably keep him up. Hell, in 6 years there may not be much of a salary difference between UFAs and RFAs in the 26-year-old range anyways.

10/26/2006 11:22 pm  

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