When the Hurricanes announced this morning that they would make a "major player announcement" at 2 pm, everybody with a pulse and a clue knew what this meant.
Thanks to a tip from a reader, I know that our illustrious new beat writer -- he of the encyclopedic college basketball knowledge, missed the clue. Yes, Chip Alexander jumped to the conclusion that this "major player announcement" would be that Frantisek Kaberle had been traded. I wasn't around to see it, but the word on the street is that Alexander posted the following on LSB:
The Hurricanes have called a news conference today at 2 p.m. to make a "major player announcement."
Could it involve moving a defenseman? Someone like Frantisek Kaberle, for example? No one is saying, but keep checking back for updates.
I know Mr. Alexander is busy studying the NC State media guide and defending the honour of a convicted felon (who just happens to be the son of NCSU's basketball coach), but I find it impossible to believe that our professional beat writer missed the hint on that. Just when I was starting to back off of my anti-Alexander stance. I'll put it the same way my reader put it. "Out of touch much?".
Before any real damage was done (read: before anyone could call him out), Alexander changed his post to allude to the Eric Staal contract extension.
Of course Mr Alexander has been a professional journalist for 30 years. We bloggers are amateurs, and therefore inferior. We are expected to make mistakes because we are beer guzzling, nacho eating morons.
Anyway, back to business...
Staal has been signed to a seven year deal, averaging $8.25M per season. The new contract starts next season, when he will make $6M and will culminate in 2016, when he will make $9.5M.
This contract is pretty reasonable. Although Staal isn't among the elite of the elite, he's certainly one of the top players in the league. He's certainly the face of the franchise. From a team standpoint, it's perfect. Anything beyond seven years is a major gamble on the part of the team due to insurance reasons. If a player is signed to a deal longer than seven years, only the first seven years are covered from an insurance standpoint, so injuries become a constant source of concern.
This will certainly be a load off the fans. This will certainly be a load off the front office. It will certainly be a load off Staal. Now he can just play the game. The fans won't have to ever hold their collective breath during the summer the way we used to do with Erik Cole and his impossible contract negotiations. It's done. I haven't seen all the particular bits of the contract, but I would assume that there's a NTC in there.
This has been a good week for Hurricanes fans. Camp starts next weekend, so we'll be even happier.