Jordan Staal is a 23 year old phenom that isn't noticed as much as he should be.
On a team that includes the likes of Sid "the kid" Crosby and Evgeni "Gino" Malkin & "Flower" and company it's been a bit easy for him to be overlooked. Even with all of this talent on the Pens Jordan has still managed to stand out. He's already been a finalist for the Selke alongside Datsuk, won gold at the worlds and has already hoisted the Stanley cup. Did I already say he's only 23?
One of the main problem I see for the Pens is being able to keep him. Also, he's yet to break the 30 goal mark. Not being on a top line will do that. When you're killing penalties the ice is a bit tilted to one side and the scoring is less.
If he was able to step out of the monster shadows of Sid and Malkin I'm sure he would be better able to reach his potential. I'd bet my paycheck that he's already thought that as well. Like all good hockey players his main motivation is probably to win and he is somewhat happy on a team that does that already.
That would be fine on its own but the Pittsburgh Penguins are fast approaching a very expensive year - 2013. This is when a lot of contracts for the Pens are up. It would greatly benefit the Pens to drop some cap and get some cheap prospects in the future.
Jordan to either the Toronto Maple leafs or Edmonton Oilers would probably work well.
Jordan Staal on either team would be their number one center. Both teams need his defense and his potential offense. Both teams have some blue (oil) or slightly blue (Leafs) chip prospects. Pieces that could be spared that would help the Pens.
To the Leafs:
To the Pens:
and a potential pick.
The pens drop a bunch of cap space (not including the raise Jordan is due in two years.)
They also get a top D prospect in Aulie and potential solid 3rd line center. With two top centers, losing the third top center seems a bit of a given. (Plus, I'd prefer to see Sid on the PK more as it's fun to watch. Much more so than watching the cheeseburger that is Ovechkin cherry picking all the time.
There's no doubt at all what the leafs get out of the deal. Hence the need for a potential pick. Base the pick on the Pens standings for next year.
Looking at the roster the Pens need to manage cap space, to get more young d and some good wingers to play beside the pens current top two centers. This trade could work.
The reason we included the Oilers in a possible trade was due to the sheer amount of young talent they've accumulated over the past couple of years. The untouchables on the Oil should be Hall, Eberle, Cam Barker & Nugent-Hopkins. Those four should be the future of that team and will dominate if not destroy for years to come. (Sort of like Pens of the past couple of years or the Blackhawks more recently.)
To the Pens:
To the Oilers:
My main thought behind this one was that the kids need defensive schooling. The young guns of the Oilers already know how to score. The pens could probably sign Sam cheaper than Jordan as well.
A different and cheaper Oiler/Pens trade would be:
Jordan Staal for Oscar Kiefbom, Anton Lander and a pick.
Cheaper for pens, deeper lines for Oilers who would make the playoffs much sooner.
No matter the scenario, I'm sure Jordan Staal will step into the limelight to be the face of a franchise. Just not while he's alongside Sidney Crosby. Not to draw this comparison again, but no one growing up with hockey in the 80's wanted to be Messier.
Especially when you have a modern day Lemieux and Gretzky on the same team as well.