Latest on Eric Staal and Brandon Saad, plus updates on the Avalanche and Red Wings. 

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Hurricanes not shopping Eric Staal.

Hurricanes not shopping Eric Staal.

Hurricanes not shopping Eric Staal.

WRAL SPORTS: Mike Maniscalco reports Carolina Hurricanes GM Ron Francis said he isn’t shopping captain Eric Staal. “No, not at this point,” said Staal. Francis and Staal’s agent haven’t engaged in formal contract extension talks yet, though the GM has stressed Staal’s importance to the franchise. “Francis reiterated he is not looking to part ways with the franchise’s second leading scorer in goals assists and points,” writes Maniscalco. Staal has a full no-movement clause, and still has a year left on his contract.

NEWSOBSERVER.COM: Luke DeCock reports “Both Eric Staal and Ward need to be either re-signed or traded, because their contracts are up after next season. Jordan Staal is signed to a long-term contract but came here to play with his brother and may not want to stay without him. Skinner has three years left on his contract but is one of the Hurricanes’ most marketable assets.” He noted agent Rick Curran represents all four.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As one pundit noted this week, all roads lead to Eric Staal. If the Hurricanes fail to re-sign him and decide to trade their captain, it could have a domino effect upon the others. It’s telling that Francis said he’s not shopping Staal “at this time.”  It’s possible this could become a situation comparable to Jason Spezza with the Ottawa Senators last year. 

Penguins to send Saad an offer sheet?

DK ON PITTSBURGH SPORTS: Josh Yohe reports Pittsburgh Penguins GM Jim Rutherford won’t comment on other teams’ players because of the NHL’s anti-tampering rules, but he isn’t against offer sheets. “Let me say this about restricted free agents out there: We’ll always play within the rules,” Rutherford said. “If there is a situation that comes up, we’ll think about it. As long as it’s OK under the CBA, if there’s a player out there that we think can make us better, we won’t be afraid to consider making an offer.” This comes up as rumors have been floated speculating Rutherford could try to sign Chicago Blackhawks winger and RFA Brandon Saad (who’s a Pittsburgh native) to an offer sheet. Yohe also suggests not to be surprised if Brandon Sutter, Chris Kunitz and Rob Scuderi are playing elsewhere next season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Rutherford intends to send Saad an offer sheet, he’ll have to free up cap space to do so. If he can find any takers for Kunitz and Scuderi (which won’t be easy), that will help. He’ll definitely have more luck moving Sutter. 

Updates on the Avalanche and Red Wings.

THE DENVER POST: Mike Chambers wonders if pending UFA defensemen Mike Green and Cody Franson, who are right-handed shots, are good fits for the Colorado Avalanche defense.

MLIVE.COM: Ansar Khan believes Detroit Red Wings center Stephen Weiss’s contract is untradeable, speculating he’ll either be bought out or brought back next season.