The Minnesota Wild has agreed to terms with free-agent center Eric Staal (pronounced STAWL) on a three-year, $10.5 million contract.
Staal, 31 (10/29/84), recorded 33 points (10-23=33) in 63 games with the Carolina Hurricanes last season before being traded to the New York Rangers on Feb. 28, 2016 in exchange for Aleksi Saarela, a second-round selection in the 2016 NHL Entry Draft (Artur Kayumov), and a second-round pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. The 6-foot-4, 205-pound native of Thunder Bay, Ont., notched six points (3-3=6) in 20 contests with the Rangers and ranked T-11th in the NHL with 62 takeaways.
Staal has tallied 781 points (325-456=781) and 680 penalty minutes (PIM) in 929 career NHL games with the Hurricanes and Rangers and owns 43 points (19-24=43) in 48 career playoff games. Staal led the NHL in playoff scoring in 2006 with 28 points (9-19=28) in 25 games as Carolina won the Stanley Cup. He was named to the 2006 NHL Second All-Star Team and has played in four NHL All-Star Games (2011, 2009, 2008 (MVP) and 2007).
Staal is a member of the Triple Gold Club having won a gold medal with Canada at the 2007 World Championship and the 2010 Olympics, along with the Stanley Cup in 2006. He also represented Canada at the 2002 World Under-18 Championship and the 2008 (silver medal) and 2013 World Championships (captain). Staal is also one of four NHL players who have played at least 900 games and tallied at least 300 goals, 400 assists and 700 points since entering the NHL in 2003-04 (Iginla, Marleau and D. Sedin). His brother, Jordan, played for the Carolina Hurricanes last season and his brother, Marc, played for the Rangers. Eric helped form the Staal Family Foundation, which benefits children fighting cancer and their families.