RALEIGH, N.C. -- The Carolina Hurricanes named center Jordan Staal and defenseman Justin Faulk as co-captains on Thursday.
They will be the 14th and 15th players in the history of the Hurricanes/Hartford Whalers franchise to serve as captain, and will switch between home and road games, Hurricanes coach Bill Peters said. Staal will be home captain for the first half of the season and Faulk the road captain, then will switch roles for the second half of the season.
Forward Jeff Skinner will serve as an alternate captain for the entire season.
"There's obviously guys who are leaders in that room who would love to wear the 'C' and didn't get selected," general manager Ron Francis said. "They're probably disappointed. That's a good thing. You want guys who want to be that guy."
Jordan Staal and Faulk fill the vacancy left by Eric Staal, who was traded to the New York Rangers on Feb. 28, 2016. Jordan Staal, Faulk, Skinner and center Victor Rask were alternate captains last season.
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"It's an honor to wear it," Staal said. "We both understand who the leaders are in the room. It's always been a shared thing. It's still a bit of an acknowledgment and an honor. I'm definitely very excited about it."
Staal will wear the "C" on Saturday when the Hurricanes open the season at home against the Minnesota Wild (7 p.m. ET; FS-CR, FS-N, NHL.TV). Eric is beginning his second season with the Wild.
"Being able to skate on the ice with the 'C' playing against Eric is going to be really cool," Jordan Staal said. "He's excited for me, and I'm beyond excited about that. It's going to make that opening night even more special."
Jordan Staal, 29, was chosen by the Pittsburgh Penguins with the No. 2 pick of the 2006 NHL Draft. He played six seasons for the Penguins before he was traded to the Hurricanes on June 22, 2012. He had 45 points (16 goals, 29 assists) in 75 games with Carolina last season, and has 436 points (187 goals, 249 assists) in 764 NHL games through 11 seasons.
Faulk, 25, was the Hurricanes' second-round pick (No. 37) in the 2010 draft. He had 37 points (17 goals, 20 assists) for Carolina last season, and has 192 points (66 goals, 126 assists) in 401 NHL games through six seasons.
"It's a huge honor for both of us," Faulk said. "We have multiple leaders within the room, so I don't know if it's necessary to go in and change. That's the beauty of it. We're going to continue to be ourselves and go about our day the same way. I think that's what got us to this position today. I think we're both ready for it."
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By choosing the three veterans to wear letters, the Hurricanes kept the formal leadership to players who have spent many years with the team. The three have played a combined 18 seasons in Carolina without making the playoffs.
"These guys have skin in the game, for sure," Peters said. "Our team, with the moves we've made, these guys now have a real good team to lead. There will be no burden of wearing the 'C' because you have additional leaders in the room who will guide them."
Peters stressed that Staal, Faulk and Skinner are already well aware of his expectations.
"We have an identity as a team now, one we have to play to each and every night," he said. "It's part of being here over time, understanding how things work, no gray areas, and the communication is very open and honest."