Ever since David Staples’ piece about the Oilers trading their No. 1 overall draft pick for Jordan Staal came out on Saturday, Penguins fans have been doing one of two things. They’ve either already ordered their tickets to the NHL Draft, which will be held in Pittsburgh so they can watch the Pens make the first overall pick or they’ve been sending death threats to Ray Shero about eating his children if he goes through with the deal.
Either way, Pens fans are losing their minds. But can you really blame the Oilers if they are interested in trading for Staal? They were 19th in the NHL in goals for (2.52) and 23rd in the league in goals against (2.83). They really could use a lot more help on the defensive side of the puck.
But if Steve Tambellini thinks he can have Jordan Staal for the first pick in this year’s draft, he’s just wasting everyone’s time. Staal could end up leaving the Burgh – that’s a very real possibility – but Pens fans shouldn’t want to ship him to Edmonton just so they can see the Pens use the first pick in CONSOL’s first draft. That’s just dumb.
That’s the only legit reason why anyone would want to exchange Staal for Nail Yakupov - the easy choice for first overall pick. Nail is by far the most talented player in this year’s draft but that’s only because this year’s class is super weak. The NHL hasn’t had a real superstar filled draft class since ’08, and this year is no different. For the Pens to trade Staal for any top-10 pick this year, it would be like the Steelers trading Mike Wallace for the best Cleveland Brown – it just doesn’t make sense.
Nail has gotten a lot of comparisons to Alex Ovechkin, which sounds great…but that’s really only because they’re both Russian. Nail has the speed for the NHL but he doesn’t have the hard-to-contain style that Ovi has, and his shot is a long way from Ovi’s bomb. And at 5’11, 189 pounds, Nail will never be anywhere near as physical as Ovi’s 6’3, 230-pound frame allow him to be. The only real thing Ovi and Nail have in common is their tendency to hang on to the puck a little too long and getting selfish whenever they feel like it.
The kid has talent for sure; he scored 101 points in 65 games in his rookie season in the OHL, and this year he scored 69 points in 42 games. But the Pens don’t need another big time goal scorer to be successful, it’s pretty obvious that they need defense. And Staal can provided scoring while adding defense – Nail is never going to be a penalty kill kind of guy.
If the Pens were to use Staal in a top-six forward role, it would entice him a lot more to stay with the Pens. And yes, Staal could be just as dangerous on offense as Nail. Staples said, “Staal was likely a bit lucky, shooting 17 per cent, four percentage points above his career average,” but it was more like Staal got the opportunity to score since he wasn’t wasting every shift with Matt Cooke and Tyler Kennedy. Even when Sidney Crosby was back healthy, Staal still managed to score. Hell, he put up a career high 50 points (25 G, 25 A) in just 62 games. Staal could still be used on the PK and to shadow elite forwards but he could also be a 30-goal scorer if he was placed on Geno’s or Sid’s wing for more than three days.
The Oilers want Staal because he is what their forwards aren’t: responsible at both ends of the ice. But even if Staal were to go to Edmonton, he’d still be playing second fiddle to center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins. How is that better than playing behind or with Sid and Geno? Staal isn’t going to sign a contract extension to stay in a place like Edmonton when he knows what it takes to win Cups…and the Oilers don’t have that yet.
Staal said he wants to stay in Pittsburgh and if Shero was able to get James Neal to sign a six-year/$30-mil deal, there’s no reason to think he can’t get Staal to sign a bargain contract either. But until this whole CBA thing is sorted out, there’s no way to know what Shero has to work with or how this whole thing ends. Either way, you don’t think the first overall pick isn’t going to command crazy money once his rookie contract is up, when Sid, Geno and Neal will still be on the payroll?
The only way it can’t end is by giving Staal to the Oilers just so Pens fans can watch the Pens use the first pick to draft a sub-Staal prospect.
via Bob McKenzie tweets, There’s a lot of Jordan Staal talk, where his long-term home is (PIT or elsewhere?). Being a year from UFA means he’s driving the bus.
PIT can’t get full market value in trade for J Staal if he’s one and done in the new locale. So Staal ultimately ends up wherever he wants.
I wouldn’t be surprised if all three Staal brothers eventually want to...
Speculating Jordan Staal's summer of '12 Jordan Staal scored 25 goals and added 25 assists in 62 games for the Penguins in 2011-12. He missed 15 games with a knee injury sustained Jan. 6 after a knee-on-knee hit with former Pen Mike Rupp. Staal also registered 101 hits, ranking seventh among team forwards. His 16.8 shooting percentage led all Penguins. Starting when Montrealâs P...
David Staples of the Edmonton Journal recently asked: Should the Edmonton Oilers trade their first overall selection for Jordan Staal? Having the first overall selection for the third year straight gives the Edmonton Oilers a ton of options. I think adding a player of Jordan Staal's caliber would be a good thing for the Oilers. Staples point out all the reasons why:"...
Follow me on Twitter for random hockey talk, question and answer sessions, and the odd witty tweet
Today I would like to look at five players the Canucks should look at and target via trade or free agency between now and the draft.
I've said in the past that Staal would be my biggest priority in the off season if I was the Pens, but if...
Once in a while when I listen to local sports radio I wonder how the hosts survive their job. There was all sorts of stupid talk in Edmonton on Tuesday regarding Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen, Pittsburgh's Jordan Staal, and what the "Russian Factor" means to potential Oiler Nail Yakupov. I'll deal with all three separately.
Johansen to Oilers
The Pittsburgh Penguins have built a lot of success using the three center model over the last six seasons. Since Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin, and Jordan Staal made their way to Pittsburgh, the Penguins have made six straight playoff appearances including two conference titles and a Stanley Cup.However, not all is well in the Steel City. Pittsburgh has failed to get out of the...
When you play the equivalent of almost two games, you've got to be both mentally and physically strong. Here's some quotes from Rangers players on how they gutted through...Dan Girardi (via Daily News)..."At that point in the game, the third overtime, guys are dyin' and it doesn't matter how good hands you have or how fast a skater you are. It's how bad you...
The Sports Jags are giving you a fresh take on weekdays. It may only be Wednesday but we’re going to party like it’s Friday with the help of our Natty Lite Sixer.
The Jags will answer the six most important questions from the past week that have kept yinzers awake at night. Well, you may not be asking them but we’re going to answer them anyways.
This week the Jags send Jordan...
Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.