Eric Staal

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Eric Staal
Eric Staal.jpg
Born(1984-10-29) October 29, 1984 (age 29)
Thunder Bay, ON, CAN
Height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
PositionCentre
ShootsLeft
NHL teamCarolina Hurricanes
National team Canada
NHL Draft2nd overall, 2003
Carolina Hurricanes
Playing career2003–present
 
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Eric Staal
Eric Staal.jpg
Born(1984-10-29) October 29, 1984 (age 29)
Thunder Bay, ON, CAN
Height6 ft 4 in (193 cm)
Weight205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)
PositionCentre
ShootsLeft
NHL teamCarolina Hurricanes
National team Canada
NHL Draft2nd overall, 2003
Carolina Hurricanes
Playing career2003–present

Eric Craig Staal (born October 29, 1984) is a Canadian ice hockey player and the captain of the Carolina Hurricanes of the National Hockey League. Eric is the oldest of the Staal brothers, which include teammates Jordan Staal (an alternate captain on the team under Eric) and Jared Staal, and New York Rangers defenceman Marc Staal. He is a member of the Triple Gold Club, having won the Stanley Cup with the Hurricanes in 2006, and both the 2007 World Championships and the 2010 Winter Olympics with Canada men's national ice hockey team.

Early life[edit]

Eric was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario, son of sod farmers Henry and Linda Staal. He started playing hockey at the age of four,[1] and along with learning how to operate farming tools he played in a home ice rink with his three younger brothers.[2] His idols growing up were forwards Joe Sakic and Wayne Gretzky.[3] Eric took his jersey number 12 from what his father wore when he played hockey for the Lakehead Thunderwolves from 1978 to 1983.[3][4]

Playing career[edit]

Staal grew up playing minor hockey in Thunder Bay, and played AAA for the Thunder Bay Kings organization and led his Bantam team to an All-Ontario Championship in 1999-2000. After that season, Staal was selected in the 1st round (13th overall) in the 2000 Ontario Hockey League Priority Selection by the Peterborough Petes. While not even Staal's father thought Eric was fit for the OHL, he finished his first season with 49 points in 63 games. In his sophomore season Staal upped his total to 62, and in 2002-03, his last season before the NHL draft, he scored a career-best 98 points in 66 games.[2]

Staal was selected second overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Carolina Hurricanes, behind number 1 pick Marc-André Fleury. He played his first season in the National Hockey League right after being drafted. In 2004, Staal played in the YoungStars game as part of the 2004 NHL All-Star festivities.

As the 2004-05 NHL season was cancelled due to a lockout, Staal spent the year in the Hurricanes' American Hockey League affiliate, the Lowell Lock Monsters. He established new franchise records in points (77), assists (51), plus/minus (+37) and shorthanded goals (7) in a season, and was also called for the AHL All Star Classic.[3]

In the 2005-06 NHL season, Staal scored a career-high 100 points during the regular season, and was named NHL Offensive Player of the Week of October 23–30, 2005 - the same in which he had his first career hat trick against the Philadelphia Flyers. He then led the Hurricanes in points during the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs with 28 points as they won the Stanley Cup. Staal was fourth in voting for the Hart Trophy, which is the award for the NHL's most valuable player. Following the successful season, on July 1, 2006, Staal signed a three year, $13.5 million contract with the Hurricanes.[5]

Staal made his first All-Star game appearance in 2007 NHL All-Star Game in Dallas, where he scored the Eastern Conference's third goal. On January 27, 2008, at the NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta, Staal recorded two goals and an assist. He was also awarded the MVP award for the event.

On September 11, 2008, Staal signed a seven year, $57.75 million deal with the Hurricanes beginning in the 2009–2010 NHL season. Staal was slated to become a restricted free agent on July 1, 2009, but signed despite having one year at $5 million remaining on his former contract.[6]

On April 28, 2009, Staal capped an improbable comeback by scoring the series winning goal with 31.7 seconds remaining in the seventh game of Carolina's first round series of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs with the New Jersey Devils.[1] The Hurricanes went as far as the Eastern Conference Finals, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

On May 8, 2009, Staal scored twice to earn 40 career postseason points and eclipse Ron Francis' franchise mark of 39.

On January 20, 2010, Staal was named team captain, replacing Rod Brind'Amour who was named an alternate captain. Staal became the fifth captain since the team relocated to Raleigh.[7]

On January 18, 2011, Staal was named the captain of the 2011 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh.

Staal is one of the most durable players in the NHL, having played in 690 of Carolina's 704 regular-season games (98%) since the beginning of his rookie year of 2003-04, and with just 14 games missed in nine seasons - 12 due to injury, and two attending his sister-in-law's funeral.[8][9]

International play[edit]

Medal record
Competitor for Canada Canada
Men's ice hockey
Olympic Winter Games
Gold2010 Vancouver
World Championships
Gold2007 Moscow
Silver2008 Halifax / Quebec City

Staal got his first calls to Canada men's national ice hockey team in the 2007 World Championships in Moscow. Along with younger brother Jordan Staal, he won gold in a 4-2 win against Finland,[10] scoring 5 goals - including the overtime winner in the quarterfinals with the Czech Republic.[11] In the following year, Staal was back with Team Canada at the 2008 World Championships in Quebec City, winning a silver medal.[10] He scored eight goals in the tournament, four of them in Canada's 10-1 defeat of Germany.[12]

Four years after being named only for Canada's taxi squad in the 2006 Winter Olympics, Staal was drafted for the Canadian team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.[13] He became a starter alongside Sidney Crosby and Jarome Iginla,[14] and scored one goal and five assists on the path to a gold medal. The Olympic title added with previous NHL and World Championship wins made Staal the 23rd player in the Triple Gold Club.[10]

Staal was named captain of Team Canada in the 2013 World Championships in Stockholm.[15] He would get injured in the first period of the quarterfinals which Canada ended up losing to eventual champions Sweden, after a knee-on-knee hit by defenceman Alexander Edler.[8]

Personal life[edit]

Staal married his longtime girlfriend Tanya Van den Broeke on August 3, 2007. Their first child, a son named Parker Lucas Staal, was born on September 22, 2009. Their second child, son Levi James Staal, was born December 11, 2011 in Raleigh, North Carolina.[16]

Records[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular seasonPlayoffs
SeasonTeamLeagueGPGAPtsPIMGPGAPtsPIM
1999–00Thunder Bay Kings Bantam AAATBAHA6140367652
2000–01Peterborough PetesOHL631930492372574
2001–02Peterborough PetesOHL5623396240636910
2002–03Peterborough PetesOHL6639599836759146
2003–04Carolina HurricanesNHL8111203140
2004–05Lowell Lock MonstersAHL772651778811281012
2005–06Carolina HurricanesNHL8245551008125919288
2006–07Carolina HurricanesNHL8230407068
2007–08Carolina HurricanesNHL8238448250
2008–09Carolina HurricanesNHL824035755018105154
2009–10Carolina HurricanesNHL7029417068
2010–11Carolina HurricanesNHL8133437672
2011–12Carolina HurricanesNHL8224467048
2012–13Carolina HurricanesNHL4818355354
2013–14Carolina HurricanesNHL7921406174
NHL totals7692893996886054319244312

International[edit]

YearTeamEventResultGPGAPtsPIM
2007CanadaWCGold medal icon.svg955106
2008CanadaWCSilver medal icon.svg84376
2010CanadaOlyGold medal icon.svg71566
2013CanadaWC5th80334
Senior totals3210162622

Awards and achievements[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]