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Eric Staal prefers to re-sign with Hurricanes: report

NHL.com @NHL

Carolina Hurricanes captain Eric Staal, who can become a free agent after this season, said Thursday he would like to stay but admitted not making the Stanley Cup Playoffs lately has been difficult.

"I would like to [re-sign]. I haven't talked a lot about anything, to be honest," Staal told "Hockey Central." "Obviously there's decisions that need to be made moving forward."

Staal is in the last year of his contract, worth $8.25 million, according to war-on-ice.com, and has a no-trade clause. He said general manager Ron Francis has not approached him with a contract offer or trade request.

"It could be in the next month or two, I don't know," Staal said. "There's other guys in the League in the same situation as me. It'll work itself out, and whatever way it goes, we'll continue on."

Staal was the No. 2 pick in the 2003 NHL Draft (behind goalie Marc-Andre Fleury of the Pittsburgh Penguins) and has played all of his 12 seasons with Carolina since debuting on Oct. 9, 2003. He has been in the playoffs twice, winning the Stanley Cup in 2006 and last qualifying following the 2008-09 season.

He has 12 points (four goals) in 18 games, one season after a full-season career-low 54 points (23 goals).

"It's been challenging. I'm not going to lie," Staal said. "You play in the game to be in the playoffs and try to win the Stanley Cup. I got to experience that early and haven't a lot since then. It's been extremely difficult."

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