Hockey players are an investment. Safe investors sell high and reduce risking their whole portfolio over one risky investment. Ray Shero is a safe investor and Jordan Staal is no exception. I think Shero did what was best for the long-term future of the Pens. Look at some of the benefits:
1. We actually get something — more than just something, A LOT! — for Staal instead of just watching him walk.
2. This frees up plenty of salary cap space to plug some other holes in the team, and it will also be huge when our other big name players come to the ends of their contracts.
3. Negotiating with him won’t be a distraction next season or an issue this time next year.
I know a lot of fans are going to miss him, but the success of the team far outweighs our emotional attachment to players. This is why I never buy a jersey with a name on it. Personally, I will miss his consistent hard work and presence on the penalty kill. At times I would have traded him for a bag of pucks and a few water bottles. Other times I argued that I would get rid of Malkin before Staal if it ever came to it. It really comes down to this: Staal knew he was better than a third-line center, and he knew that’s all he would ever be here in Pittsburgh. For him, like Shero, moving on was just smart business. Am I being a little cold? Maybe. He got a Cup here, and now he gets to try to win one with his brother (Did that warm this post up a little bit? No? Oh well…) The Staal boys should talk to the Sedins about how well that works out, but I think the topic of hockey families is a whole different post.
Bottom line from my perspective, it was the right move for everyone. Like a break-up you both know is coming so you just put it all out on the table and go your separate ways. Now we just have to change our PenguinPoop banner.