By trading for Jordan Staal on Friday night, the Carolina Hurricanes went from an interesting team with legitimate playoff aspirations for 2012-13 to a possible Eastern Conference contender.
And in hockey, being a contender means you can win the Stanley Cup, as the Los Angeles Kings proved this spring.
Staal, who is a free agent following next season, recently turned down a 10-year extension from the Pittsburgh Penguins. The team didn't want to risk letting him get away for essentially nothing, so they dealt the 23-year-old to Carolina for the team's first-round pick in Friday's draft, which was the eighth selection overall, established center Brandon Sutter and prospect Brian Dumoulin.
On the surface, the Canes (33-33-16, 82 points this past season) gave up plenty to possibly have a guy for just one season. Sutter, 23, came on nicely last season further establishing himself as a solid second-line center. He was also an important piece of the team's internal chemistry, which ha...