RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Jordan Staal is staying with the Carolina Hurricanes after signing a four-year contract worth $11.6 million.
The team announced the deal with their captain on Sunday, less than a week before Staal would have become an unrestricted free agent.
He’s not going anywhere, sticking around to try to help the team win the Stanley Cup. And Staal is doing so on an annual salary cap hit of $2.9 million through the 2026-27 season that’s a bargain for a player considered one of the best defensive forwards in hockey.
“I’m ready to grind. I’m ready to play,” Staal told reporters in a conference call. “I feel really good about my game and feel like I can help the team for the rest of this contract. I’m going to do my best to my abilities.
“If it deosn’t work out, it doesn’t work out. But I believe I can do it. So I’m excited about the deal and where this team is headed, the direction, and I’m just happy to be a part of it.”
General manager Don Waddell said Staal embodies what it means to play for the Hurricanes.
“His leadership has been an integral part of our success, and the impact he has made on our organization cannot be overstated,” Waddell said in a statement. “We could not be more excited to sign him for four more years.”
Staal’s new contract carries a full no-movement clause for the first three years and a full no-trade clause for the final season. That gives the soon-to-be 35-year-old total control of where he plays.
That might wind up being Raleigh for the rest of his career. The Thunder Bay, Ontario, native who won the Cup with Pittsburgh in 2009 has been with Carolina for a decade and worn the “C” for the organization since 2019.
Staal, along with coach Rod Brind’Amour and the team’s young core, has led the Hurricanes to the playoffs each of the past five seasons. That includes division titles in the past three seasons and trips to the Eastern Conference final in 2019 and this year, though Carolina has been swept each time.
“Obviously it’s where I wanted to be,” Staal said. “I feel like we’ve got some unfinished business.”