The latest news and speculation on the contract statuses of Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal & New York Islanders winger Brock Nelson.
Eric Staal not close to a new deal with the Hurricanes.
SPORTSNET: In an interview with Sportsnet The Fan 960, Elliotte Friedman reported the Carolina Hurricanes and captain Eric Staal aren’t close to an agreement on a new contract. Staal, 30, is eligible next summer for unrestricted free agency. Friedman believes the center, whose stats have declined recently, could benefit from a change of scenery. However, he acknowledged Staal has “a great setup there”. He loves living and playing in Carolina and the club wants to re-sign him. Staal also has a full no-movement clause.
ESPN.COM: Pierre LeBrun reports Staal’s agent, Rick Curran and Hurricanes GM Ron Francis both they’ve had a great, open dialogue, adding there’s no time frame to getting a deal done. LeBrun indicates the difference between Staal and Tampa Bay Lightning center Steven Stamkos and Los Angeles Kings pivot Anze Kopitar (who are also eligible next summer for UFA status) is the latter two are playing for clubs expected to be playoff contenders, whereas the Hurricanes aren’t in that position. Despite Staal’s no-movement clause, LeBrun wonders if the Hurricanes consider moving their captain if he’s still unsigned by the Feb. 29 trade deadline.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s obvious the Hurricanes won’t be shopping Staal if he’s unsigned when the season begins. Both sides will likely let the season play out and see where they are leading up to the deadline. Staal, whose annual cap hit is $8.25 million and will earn $9.5 million this season in actual salary, obviously won’t be getting a raise over his current contract. He’ll have to accept lesser term and dollars. It’s how much the Hurricanes want him to accept that will be the determining factor. Yes, Staal’s production might improve if he moved on to a better club, but if he’s happy living and working in Carolina, and if he and Francis can reach an agreement on a deal, he could forsake free agency.
Clock ticking on Brock Nelson
NEWSDAY: Arthur Staple reports agent Ron Salcer, who represents New York Islanders restricted free agent winger Brock Nelson, hasn’t heard from management in six weeks. The Islanders have reportedly offered a two-year deal, which Salcer claims isn’t fair, saying the first year is worth half of what comparable players are earning, while the second is worth a third. Salcer cited Minnesota Wild’s Mikael Granlund (two years, $6 million), Montreal Canadiens’ winger Alex Galchenyuk (two years, $5.6 million), Ottawa Senators center Mika Zibanejad (two years, $5.25 million) and Carolina Hurricanes forward Elias Lindholm (two-year, $5.4 million). The Islanders policy is players who aren’t re-signed when training camp opens are out for the entire season.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The deadline for Nelson to re-sign is September 16. As he’s a restricted free agent without arbitration rights (he’s coming off an entry-level contract), he and his agent have no leverage. They can’t even threaten a holdout. The Isles are betting Nelson will blink first. We’ll find out for certain by the end of tomorrow.