Not only is it Canada Day, but more importantly it's NHL Free-Agent Frenzy. To kick off the day nicely for Hurricanes fans, recently acquired Jordan Staal agreed to sign the same 10 year $60 million contract he turned down from the Penguins with the Canes.
Staal has proven himself worthy of a long-term "big money" contract. Looking back at the 2011 playoffs, Staal led the Penguins to the Eastern Conference quarter finals with the absence of both Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Not only has he shown the maturity at age 23 as an Alternate captain, but he also has a Stanley Cup ring and only Cam Ward, Eric Staal, Chad Larose, and Tim Gleason are left from the '06 cup team.
It's clear that the expectations are high Jordan especially with this long term contract, but Hurricanes GM Jim Rutherford tweeted earlier today "At 23 years old, Jordan is just coming into his prime. He represents a cornerstone of our franchise for the long term."
Kirk Muller was able to kick the Canes out of their losing spirit as they inserted him as head coach. Now with Jordan, Eric, Ward, Skinner, Gleason, and many others, they look to have a solid lineup. Jim Rutherford made talk about the need of a top four defenseman and Ryan Suter fits that roll, but it's doubtful they will sign a player at the top of the free-agency charts. Maybe look for them to sign someone like Milan Jurcina on defense and possibly Ray Whitney to come back to Carolina. With the addition of Jordan Staal and Kirk Muller, the Canes look to be headed in the right direction.