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06-10-2008, 12:48 PM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Interesting thread on just this subject on the Pens board:
It has a link from the local paper of a conversation the reporter had with an NHL exec regarding Staal:
Allow me to recap a recent conversation with an NHL executive, who shall remain nameless at his request:
RR: Forget Sidney Crosby. He stays. If you could pick one player off the Penguins to add to your team, who would you pick?
NHL guy: Jordan Staal.
RR: That was quick.
NHL guy: What have other guys said?
RR: You're the first one I've asked.
NHL guy: I bet a lot of them say Staal.
RR: Not Evgeni Malkin or Marc-Andre Fleury?
NHL guy: The Penguins have a few kids anybody would take. I'd want Staal. Have you seen him during the playoffs? His game translates to winning playoff games. He's a winner. You win with Jordan Staal. And he's only 19. He has -- what? -- (nine) playoff goals before his 20th birthday? He's a big, strong center that will grow into 30-goal scorer, and he'll be a plus-20 player for about 12 years. His performance against the Flyers, after his grandfather died, was as good as it gets. And he's been really good against Detroit, too. Numbers don't tell you how good Jordan Staal has been.
RR: I'm not sure a lot of people in Pittsburgh even appreciate him.
NHL guy: He's not flashy. He doesn't stick out unless you watch with an eye toward what wins. He makes the smart play every time. He has great instincts, and he might be the best young defensive forward in a decade. His stick is long and quick, he can win physical battles and he can skate. How many times have you seen his line cycle low and keep the puck? It happens all the time.
RR: Some people think he took a step back this year.
NHL guy: He's 19! He'll be one of the most coveted players in the NHL if he hits restricted free agency on July 1 (2009). I know a lot of GMs that would make him their No. 1 center for the next 10 years. He's not Crosby. He's not Malkin. But he's damn good, and he's going to be a big reason his team wins a lot of Cups.
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