Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal could be seeking big bucks on his next deal, plus the latest trade speculation on Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn and New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac.

Staal seeking big bucks to stay in Carolina?

Is Eric Staal seeking $9 million annually from the Carolina Hurricanes?

Is Eric Staal seeking $9 million annually from the Carolina Hurricanes?

NBC SPORTS: Mike Halford cited a report from Le Journal de Montreal’s Renaud Lavoie claiming Eric Staal is seeking $9 million per season in contract talks with the Carolina Hurricanes. Halford points out that this could merely be an opening bid on Staal’s part, noting Calgary’s Mark Giordano reportedly sought $9 million annually before settling on $6.75 million per season. He also speculates that could be Staal’s way of deliberately pricing himself out of the Hurricanes’ comfort zone.

YAHOO! SPORTS: Greg Wyshynski also noted the Lavoie report, following up by citing TSN’s Bob McKenzie claiming Staal not only hasn’t sought that much, but that no numbers have been exchanged by the two sides. He notes Staal is currently making $9.5 million in actual salary this season on a contract paying him $8.25 million per season.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I have considerable respect for Lavoie and don’t doubt his sources on this, but McKenzie’s the most-connected insider in the business, so I’ll defer to him on this one. From all previous reports, talks between the Staal camp and Hurricanes management have been cordial but there’s yet to be anything substantive regarding term and dollars. Both sides could wait to see how this season plays out before getting down to serious bargaining. That could take until the New Year, with the trade deadline only weeks away (Feb. 29), to set up a boundary for both sides to get a deal in place or to consider other options. 

Brayden Schenn to the Blues?

TODAY’S SLAPSHOT: Chris Nichols cites TSN’s Darren Dreger suggesting Philadelphia Flyers forward Brayden Schenn could be moved at some point this season. He feels new coach Dave Hakstol will want to evaluate Schenn’s performance to determine what he has. Dreger believes the St. Louis Blues are a team looking for a top-nine forward, but feels Schenn’s salary ($2.75 million) could be too much for the Blues or other clubs.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Schenn’s salary isn’t that expensive, but a number of teams (like the Blues) have limited cap space to start the season. If the Flyers move him, they won’t want any salary back, as they’ll be looking to make room for a player within their system. It could take some time to move Schenn, and if he steps up his play this season, the Flyers could think twice about dealing him.

No Zajac to the Leafs.

TSN.CA: Travis Yost dismisses the possibility of the Toronto Maple Leafs acquiring New Jersey Devils center Travis Zajac, citing his declining production, age (30) and high salary as factors working against such a move.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: As Yost points out, such a move makes no sense for the rebuilding Leafs.