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Staal... or stalled?

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This thread is for discussing the performance of the guy generally acknowledged to be our Franchise Player. Though born of thread drift from the GDT, maybe it will help us keep an eye on our highest-paid guy.

The aforementioned thread drift concluded with Legend's response to my suggestion that Eric underachieved last year:

It is lousy. It's tied for 15th in the league, and we rewarded him with a contract that pays him 8.25 million per year, 5th in the league.

Well, I think after Brind'amour went out last season, from that point on Staal scored more points than anyone. Something along those lines...I don't recall the statistics but I remember hearing that from Tripp or Forslund some time towards the close of the year. Regardless, I think the Staal we saw in the second half last year is what everyone expects from him all year. He hasn't given that for sure this year...at least not points-wise. Until last night, he appears to me to have been playing without any interest. Last night, he looked like he was fired up. Hopefully that will continue.

As for how much he is paid...its not his fault Rutherford gave him that contract. Thus far this season, I'd say he's on par with the last two seasons of his play. I guess Rutherford felt it was worth that.....I think he was looking for a new "face of the franchise" to promote the fan-base. If Staal doesn't step up and help the team win, it may backfire on Rutherford.

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Two things:

1. Staal isn't a Crosby, an Ovechkin, a Gagne, etc. If you're expecting that, you're going to be disappointed over and over again. He's not a pure goalscorer by any sense of the word. He'll likely average about 90 points for the remainder of his career, but I'm assuming he'll continue to progress defensively.

2. JR was faced with two choices: Extend Staal's contract, or lose your franchise player. Man, what a tough decision.

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Those who don't see what Eric Staal does for this team really just get to me.

First off, not sure if this has been said, but people who expect 2 or 3 points a night - that ain't happening. 3 points a night would break Gretzky's 20 year old record of points in a season by 31 poitns and 2 points a night would put him tied for 10th on the all time season record list. In the top 10 is Wayne 8 times and Mario twice. So, unless you think this guy is a top 3 player of all time, you can pretty much forgot about that.

In fact, 150 points (which is 2 points 80% of the time and 1 point 20% of the time roughly) would put him tied for 16th all time and would be 1 of only 6 players to ever acheive that mark.

What you want is about a point a night. Sure, that puts him 15th or whatever, but this guy does MORE than score points.

The rushes he creates up the ice. The speed he has. The unbelieveable ability to avoid injury. The quick hands on the defensive end of things. The ability to score the big goal. The calm and patient guy on special teams. The ability to get in front of the net and create screens.

All these things are things he does that don't show up on the score sheet.

I am estatic we have this guy in our lineup everynight and am glad he is a Hurricane for a long time.

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His skating has been exceptional since the coaching change. His moves are becoming tougher to defend and the speed he moves up the ice with the puck is becoming more like the player we all saw in the second half last year. No one ever officially said whether or not he hurt his shoulder in Los Angeles, but if he was nursing an injury, I think the effects are almost gone. In the last few games, Staal been playing very well at even strength. He's shooting the puck well. He's not mired in that goal-less slump and overthinking every chance he gets. He looks much better.

It's a good debate to have, because things can be said on both sides. But I hope Staal is forgetting about the first quarter of his season faster than anyone else and focusing on building upon the good hockey he's been playing recently.

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Those who don't see what Eric Staal does for this team really just get to me.

First off, not sure if this has been said, but people who expect 2 or 3 points a night - that ain't happening. 3 points a night would break Gretzky's 20 year old record of points in a season by 31 poitns and 2 points a night would put him tied for 10th on the all time season record list. In the top 10 is Wayne 8 times and Mario twice. So, unless you think this guy is a top 3 player of all time, you can pretty much forgot about that.

In fact, 150 points (which is 2 points 80% of the time and 1 point 20% of the time roughly) would put him tied for 16th all time and would be 1 of only 6 players to ever acheive that mark.

What you want is about a point a night. Sure, that puts him 15th or whatever, but this guy does MORE than score points.

The rushes he creates up the ice. The speed he has. The unbelieveable ability to avoid injury. The quick hands on the defensive end of things. The ability to score the big goal. The calm and patient guy on special teams. The ability to get in front of the net and create screens.

All these things are things he does that don't show up on the score sheet.

I am estatic we have this guy in our lineup everynight and am glad he is a Hurricane for a long time.

A quote from Brind'amour which echoes GolfPros viewpoint:

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I also can't believe people jump on Staal and not on Eaves.

This guy is making a million a year for 3 years and has 0 goals and 5 assists in 23 games putting him pace for a whopping 17 points.

But lets jump on the guy who leads our team in +/- and is starting to get back on track for a point a game.....

I just don't get it.

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This thread is for discussing the performance of the guy generally acknowledged to be our Franchise Player. Though born of thread drift from the GDT, maybe it will help us keep an eye on our highest-paid guy.

The aforementioned thread drift concluded with Legend's response to my suggestion that Eric underachieved last year:

It is lousy. It's tied for 15th in the league, and we rewarded him with a contract that pays him 8.25 million per year, 5th in the league.

that's just about where the canes will end the season,,,fifth overall from the bottom .................................................

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Those who don't see what Eric Staal does for this team really just get to me.

First off, not sure if this has been said, but people who expect 2 or 3 points a night - that ain't happening. 3 points a night would break Gretzky's 20 year old record of points in a season by 31 poitns and 2 points a night would put him tied for 10th on the all time season record list. In the top 10 is Wayne 8 times and Mario twice. So, unless you think this guy is a top 3 player of all time, you can pretty much forgot about that.

In fact, 150 points (which is 2 points 80% of the time and 1 point 20% of the time roughly) would put him tied for 16th all time and would be 1 of only 6 players to ever acheive that mark.

What you want is about a point a night. Sure, that puts him 15th or whatever, but this guy does MORE than score points.

The rushes he creates up the ice. The speed he has. The unbelieveable ability to avoid injury. The quick hands on the defensive end of things. The ability to score the big goal. The calm and patient guy on special teams. The ability to get in front of the net and create screens.

All these things are things he does that don't show up on the score sheet.

I am estatic we have this guy in our lineup everynight and am glad he is a Hurricane for a long time.

You and Legend both make good points, golfpro. I've never said we need to unload Eric, although I do think we probably could have extended him for less money and/or a shorter commitment, and would have risked him walking away if that's what happened. I do think that Cole, who shares a lot of the attributes you guys list, would still be here if this Eric wasn't, and of the two I'd rather have this (younger) one.

I disagree, however, that we shouldn't expect more point production. Two a night? No way. But he should be up there in the mid 90s with the St. Louis's and Lacavaliers. Ten or 15 points may not seem like much, but the additional points they'd bring in the standings in a division like ours could be huge.

That said, it's not the points thing that frustrates the most. I think his streakiness is a liability (on a team that's as inconsistent as this one has been since winning the Cup, it's particularly unhelpful not to know which Eric will show up on any given night). His continuing struggles in the face-off circle also irk me. I'm almost at a point where I'd rather see him on the wing, because his game (specifically his speed and passing ability) seems better suited to that position.

Thoughts?

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He is 100 times ahead of Cole b/c Cole hasn't come close to the seasons Staal has had, Cole can't stay healthy and Cole is proving in Edmonton he can't produce on his own. But that is for another discussion....

I think a lot of what makes St. Louis and Lecavalier up in the 90 point range is 2 things - each other and the fact that offense on that team comes from no where else. If there is one thing that I think all Canes fans can appreciate, even in bad stretches or bad years, the scoring of this team is very even.

Sure we may have a guy like Staal "only" get 70 - 85 points, but we got 6 other guys with 20 goals and 7 people with 45 point years. I'd much rather have that than have a 2 man show like they do in Tampa.

As for Staal on the wing, yes, his faceoffs are one of the bad parts of his game (and sadly, they have gotten so much better) but a guy with the combo of his size, speed, hands and talent should pretty much always be at the Center position. There is a reason why 95% of the top scorers of all time were at Center - b/c that is where you put your talent. You want your talent handling the puck as much as you can and the guy in the middle is going to do that.

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I think Staal's play this year has been hampered by the shoulder that we all assume was injured. I have been so frustrated by Staal skating the puck over the blue line and laying in a weak slapper. Since the arrival of Mo, I've seen him use that big frame of his and skate the puck deep into the zone. I don't know if that is Mo or the magical power of healing, but I like it.

Staal's play was key in us making the run and even being able to smell the playoffs last season. I think he needs to be wearing the "C" now and assume the leadership role. Let him be responsible for the team. The contract is a hefty one, but look at what players are going for these days. I think after a couple of years, it won't seem so bad (providing the economy doesn't go completely down the crapper).

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Those who don't see what Eric Staal does for this team really just get to me.

First off, not sure if this has been said, but people who expect 2 or 3 points a night - that ain't happening. 3 points a night would break Gretzky's 20 year old record of points in a season by 31 poitns and 2 points a night would put him tied for 10th on the all time season record list. In the top 10 is Wayne 8 times and Mario twice. So, unless you think this guy is a top 3 player of all time, you can pretty much forgot about that.

In fact, 150 points (which is 2 points 80% of the time and 1 point 20% of the time roughly) would put him tied for 16th all time and would be 1 of only 6 players to ever acheive that mark.

What you want is about a point a night. Sure, that puts him 15th or whatever, but this guy does MORE than score points.

The rushes he creates up the ice. The speed he has. The unbelieveable ability to avoid injury. The quick hands on the defensive end of things. The ability to score the big goal. The calm and patient guy on special teams. The ability to get in front of the net and create screens.

All these things are things he does that don't show up on the score sheet.

I am estatic we have this guy in our lineup everynight and am glad he is a Hurricane for a long time.

1. I don't expect him to score 2-3 points/night. However I do expect him to score more than 2 or 3 points every two weeks.

2. He creates rushes when HE wants to crete rushes. Many nights he simply glides around the ice away from the puck action and often is the first guy off the ice after his line's shift.

3. I expect him, because of his size, to be a more physical player. Seldom does he check or seldom is he willing to tough it out in front of the net. He infrequently uses his size to reach for pucks or stick check an opposing player.

4. He is unwilling to grab the leadership reins and take this team with him. It doesn't matter if Brindy is there or not. He is either a leader or not. So far he has not stepped up.

5. He is an above average player but that is all. His brother (Jordan) consistently outworks him and makes Eric look like a pee wee. He may be great for JR to promote to the fan base but the fan base here is much more sophisticated than to simply accept him as a superstar.

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1. I don't expect him to score 2-3 points/night. However I do expect him to score more than 2 or 3 points every two weeks.

2. He creates rushes when HE wants to crete rushes. Many nights he simply glides around the ice away from the puck action and often is the first guy off the ice after his line's shift.

3. I expect him, because of his size, to be a more physical player. Seldom does he check or seldom is he willing to tough it out in front of the net. He infrequently uses his size to reach for pucks or stick check an opposing player.

4. He is unwilling to grab the leadership reins and take this team with him. It doesn't matter if Brindy is there or not. He is either a leader or not. So far he has not stepped up.

5. He is an above average player but that is all. His brother (Jordan) consistently outworks him and makes Eric look like a pee wee. He may be great for JR to promote to the fan base but the fan base here is much more sophisticated than to simply accept him as a superstar.

1. We've had roughly 10 weeks. That would be 10 - 15 points. So, he obviously is getting more than 2 - 3 points every 2 weeks, but I assume you were being somewhat sarcastic.

2. And who on this team when we look bad hasn't?

3. Typically your superstar is not going to check like crazy. You don't want this guy to check someone and have them turn around and hit you harder and then miss a month. There are guys on this team who are supposed to the checking and they are on each line. He isn't one of them. And if you think he doesn't use his reach, then maybe you are watching a different Staal that I am.

4. Prove this. This is opinion. You have no clue what goes on behind closed doors.

5. Average players don't score 100+ points, remain healthy all the time and win the MVP of All Star games. I'd take him over Jordan ANY day.

Once again, Staal does so much more than score points. I just don't see how people can't see that.

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Two things:

2. JR was faced with two choices: Extend Staal's contract, or lose your franchise player. Man, what a tough decision.

Ice, while I am content with the decision that was made, there was a third choice, to spend that same big money on another "Franchise" player.

----------------

Now playing: The Rolling Stones - Sympathy For The Devil (Neptunes)[/post]

via FoxyTunes

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Ice, while I am content with the decision that was made, there was a third choice, to spend that same big money on another "Franchise" player.
And where in the world would we have acquired this franchise player from?

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1. We've had roughly 10 weeks. That would be 10 - 15 points. So, he obviously is getting more than 2 - 3 points every 2 weeks, but I assume you were being somewhat sarcastic.

2. And who on this team when we look bad hasn't?

3. Typically your superstar is not going to check like crazy. You don't want this guy to check someone and have them turn around and hit you harder and then miss a month. There are guys on this team who are supposed to the checking and they are on each line. He isn't one of them. And if you think he doesn't use his reach, then maybe you are watching a different Staal that I am.

4. Prove this. This is opinion. You have no clue what goes on behind closed doors.

5. Average players don't score 100+ points, remain healthy all the time and win the MVP of All Star games. I'd take him over Jordan ANY day.

Once again, Staal does so much more than score points. I just don't see how people can't see that.

Golfpro

We can agree to disagree on Staal and that is the great thing about America. However I would like to challenge you on his ability to lead. I have managed and led people for 35 years. I can promise you that when you see a leader, there is no question about it. It shows in their demeanor, style, speech, actions and in the trust that others put in them. Believe me, Eric Staal is no leader.

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Staal isn't a Crosby or an Ovechkin - but:

I expected to see him at least in the league top 50 scorers through most (if not all) of the season.

I expected him to score a goal at least once every three games and get a point at least in every other game.

I expect him to improve and be a better player every year.

I expect him to show more leadership and certainly not to take a lot of dumb penalties when he gets frustrated.

I expect him to play defensively - not to loaf back when the other team gets possession of the puck.

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3. Typically your superstar is not going to check like crazy. You don't want this guy to check someone and have them turn around and hit you harder and then miss a month. There are guys on this team who are supposed to the checking and they are on each line. He isn't one of them. And if you think he doesn't use his reach, then maybe you are watching a different Staal that I am.

5. Average players don't score 100+ points, remain healthy all the time and win the MVP of All Star games. I'd take him over Jordan ANY day.

Once again, Staal does so much more than score points. I just don't see how people can't see that.

Gotta disagree with you here, GP. Earlier in the thread you argue that E needs to be at center for a variety of reasons, and that the majority of scorers are at center. But the ability to take and give physically comes with that, and E hasn't got it. All the finesse and puck-handling ability in the world are useless if you can't plant yourself in front of the net and stay there. When E does this his numbers shoot up, but he has never done it over time, and I think it's because when he does, he takes a beating. He needs about 40 more pounds on his bones, because I can promise you the weight in the media guide is soaking wet -- with lead paint.

To your other point, the All-Star game is maybe the worst indicator of overall ability. It's a big party with little to no checking (see my previous point), and has nothing to do with the real-world, day-in, day-out, grind-it-out game these guys are playing the rest of the year.

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Has anyone been following Survivor? It has been a really good show this season!

I've been watching the first two seasons of Lost on SciFi - very entertaining stuff. On a hockey-related note, I saw an episode of Law and Order the other night where a hockey dad beat his son's coach to death for suspending his son for one game for violent play.

Just to stay on topic (so the forum police don't delete this) I say stalled. On a pace for another 30-goal season. A good season for a Whitney or Williams or Brind'Amour or a Cole - but not for the eight-million dollar man.

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Staal was definitely Staaled after the shoulder injury until now. I have written a thread about him and Brind'Amour which lays out the details.

There have been recent signs of life, however. Last night, at least in the first two periods I saw a different player than I had seen post injury (with the possible exception of his hat trick vs. Phoenix). It is simply too early to tell if this is a sign of things to come or if he will slip back, but I think it suggests that the injury may be behind him. If it had to do with a combination of the injury or the old coach, we really may see a great run out of him from this point forward. That's my prediction, write it down. Sergie is playing better with Staal which may be indirect evidence that Staal is getting his game back. I'm looking for big things from Staal in the immediate future.

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Golfpro

We can agree to disagree on Staal and that is the great thing about America. However I would like to challenge you on his ability to lead. I have managed and led people for 35 years. I can promise you that when you see a leader, there is no question about it. It shows in their demeanor, style, speech, actions and in the trust that others put in them. Believe me, Eric Staal is no leader.

What professional sports franchise have you lead? Have you ever coached Eric Staal? Where were you in life at 24 years old? Did you ever lead your organization to a championship before you were 21?

Listen to what players and coaches that have played against or played with Eric Staal say about him. He has more respect in the league then any player in this franchise history since Francis. I'm so tired of people blaming Staal everytime we get beat. Where would this franchise be right now without Eric Staal. He gives this team a chance to beat any team in the league every night.

Believe me Eric Staal is and will be the leader of this team for years.

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What professional sports franchise have you lead? Have you ever coached Eric Staal? Where were you in life at 24 years old? Did you ever lead your organization to a championship before you were 21?

Listen to what players and coaches that have played against or played with Eric Staal say about him. He has more respect in the league then any player in this franchise history since Francis. I'm so tired of people blaming Staal everytime we get beat. Where would this franchise be right now without Eric Staal. He gives this team a chance to beat any team in the league every night.

Believe me Eric Staal is and will be the leader of this team for years.

Glad you are so passionate for and supportive of Staal. I hope you are correct. I still maintain that he has not demonstrated the leadership qualities that are necessary to be a team captain. Again, I have not coach a professional sports franchise but I have "coached" and developed many outstanding people in my career. I know what a leader looks like.

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Being a manager of the local Wal-Mart does not constitute knowing leadership qualities in professional athletes. When you have coached a professional sport (NHL, NFL, NBA, etc.) then you can talk about "knowing" when you see a leader. I am a teacher. Everyday I have to choose students to lead. Believe me, you know who the leaders in the class are, but I would never assume to know so much about leadership on a hockey team. I coach soccer as well, which is very similar to hockey in many ways. I knew who my team leaders were before the tryouts were done, but I would still never presume to say that Staal or anyone else on the team is a leader or not. We DO NOT know what goes on behind closed doors. I listen instead to what other players and coaches (on our team and not on our team) have to say about Staal. Did you miss what happened after Roddy went down last season?

I have faith that Staal will be a great captain for us when Rod passes down the torch.

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Golfpro

We can agree to disagree on Staal and that is the great thing about America. However I would like to challenge you on his ability to lead. I have managed and led people for 35 years. I can promise you that when you see a leader, there is no question about it. It shows in their demeanor, style, speech, actions and in the trust that others put in them. Believe me, Eric Staal is no leader.

Ok so basically you are say that the guy that stepped up for our team when Rod was injured last season did not lead?

He had the most points out of the team last season, and pretty much every game he made his presence known on the ice as a leader.

He may not be the greatest on the ice right now, but lately he has been stepping it up.

Eric is the future of this team, and its even been said by Rutherford that one day he will be captain.

And then not to demote Rod or anything, because he is an amazing captain, but hes leading us, and hes at about a -21 right now.

Ever since Eric hit the NHL, it was known that he could be a possible leader in the future.

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