Jordan Staal: 'I think I look pretty good in red'

Staff writerJuly 27, 2012 

Jordan Staal dropped into Raleigh today, modeling his new jersey and looking for a new place to live.

"I think I look pretty good in red," he said, smiling, slipping into a Hurricanes sweater.

Staal's hockey address is no longer Pittsburgh, Pa. Traded to the Canes last month by the Penguins, he has a new 10-year contract extension and will soon be joining brother, Eric, in the lineup.

"It is weird, there's no question," Jordan said in a news conference at PNC Arena. "I remember the first question when I came in the league was, 'Is is weird to play against your brother?' And it was. Is is going to be different playing with Eric? It will be.

"I'm sure it will be all good things. It'll be a really fun experience."

Jordan and Eric also could be neighbors. Jordan, a newly wed, and his wife, Heather, are looking at some available houses in Eric's North Raleigh subdivision.

Being traded to Carolina on his wedding day, Staal said, made for a "crazy day" in his hometown of Thunder Bay, Ont., and was slightly surreal with so many of his Pens teammates on hand. It was emotional, but, he said, also exciting.

Staal, 23, scored a career-high 29 goals -- seven shorthanded-- for the Pens in 2006-2007, his rookie season in the NHL. He had 25 goals and a career-best 50 points last season despite missing 20 games with injuries, then had six goals and three assists in the Pens' six playoff games against Philadelphia.

"I'm obviously looking for the opportunity to expand my role and be more of an elite player," he said. "I know the opportunity is here and obviously there is pressure. Hopefully I can have a big year and a big career here and try to be the elite player I can be.

"It's nice to be wanted. We knew the family thing was a very intriquing part of this whole thing. To play against two brothers in the NHL is pretty awesome, but to play alongside your brother, both in the primes of our careers, is very, very exciting. As a family, for me and Eric especially, we're ecstatic to have this come together as it did."

Which also begged the question: what about Marc Staal? He's the New York Rangers defenseman who now will get a double dose of his brothers when the Rangers face the Canes. What does Marc think of that situation?

"Marc's a Ranger and he loves New York and loves playing there," Jordan said. "Who knows down the road. But he's comfortable where he is right now."

Jordan said he and Eric talked Thursday after the announcement that the Canes had signed forward Alex Semin to a one-year, $7 million contract.

"Obviously the ownership and the management here are really investing in this team," he said.

Jordan laughed when told the odds of the Canes winning the Stanley Cup were 55-1 before the Semin signing and dropped to 20-1 after it.

"Oh, yeah, just like that?" he said. "The odds got a little better when he came in?

"Again, it comes under the pressure thing, but I know Alexander can really do some damage and play some great hockey. For myself, I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing and hopefully keep getting better.

"Hopefully we can make an impact. Hopefully make the playoffs and do some damage."

Staal was asked what one thing he does better than Eric. Another smile.

"Oh, I'm obviously better looking," he joked. "But to be honest, I've tried to model myself as a hockey player and tried to follow him for a long time in my career and in my life."

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