RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Hurricanes have signed new center Jordan Staal to a 10-year contract extension.
The Hurricanes marked the start of the free agency period Sunday by announcing a long-term deal for the star player they acquired from Pittsburgh in a draft-day trade just over a week ago.
Staal will make $6 million per year under the deal, which begins with the 2013-14 season. He is due to make $4.5 million this season.
Staal has said he turned down a 10-year deal two weeks ago to stay in Pittsburgh, and that decision precipitated the trade to Carolina in exchange for center Brandon Sutter, defensive prospect Brian Dumoulin and the No. 8 pick in the draft.
General manager Jim Rutherford says Staal — the younger brother of team captain Eric Staal — “represents a cornerstone of our franchise for the long term.”
The 23-year-old Staal had career highs with 25 assists and 50 points last season with the Penguins. He was coveted by the Hurricanes, who wanted to add a top-shelf forward to play alongside the older Staal.
Both Staals are natural centers, but coach Kirk Muller said earlier this week that he would experiment during preseason camp with having both of them on the ice at the same time.