– The Carolina Hurricanes today announced that Eric Staal
has been selected by his teammates as Carolina’s nominee for the 2012-13 King Clancy Memorial Trophy. It marks the third time that Staal has been nominated for the honor, which is annually awarded to the NHL player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy contribution in his community.
This season, Staal celebrated the fifth year of his “Eric’s Entourage” program, in which he purchases a luxury suite – fully equipped with food, snacks and drinks – for each Hurricanes home game, and donates it to local children’s charities. The children attending the games become members of “Eric’s Entourage,” and receive a goody bag that includes an “Eric’s Entourage” t-shirt signed by Staal. Throughout the season, several of the groups using the suite visit Eric after games for meet-and-greets. Among the charities benefiting from the “Eric’s Entourage” program this season were the Boys and Girls Club of Wake County, the Masonic Home for Children, USO of North Carolina, Meg’s Smile Foundation, Horizons Grief Center and the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
Along with the “Eric’s Entourage” program, Staal is an integral part of the Kids N’ Community Foundation’s fundraising events. He is one of the team’s most-requested players at the Foundation’s golf tournament, and fans gather around him in droves at annual Foundation events like Casino Night and Wine Tasting, and the popular Skate with the Canes event.
On the ice, Staal, 28, leads the Hurricanes and ranks tied for sixth in the NHL in scoring, with 51 points in 47 games played (through games of April 25). The Thunder Bay, Ont., native ranks first on the team and tied for eighth in the NHL in assists (33) and second on the team and tied for 17th in the league in goals (18) this season. Staal (6’4”, 205 lbs.) has served as the Hurricanes’ team captain since January 2010, and earned his 600th career NHL point on March 5 against Buffalo. Selected by Carolina with the second overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft, Staal has scored 268 goals and earned 357 assists (625 points) in 689 NHL regular-season games.