Well any talk of who the Pittsburgh Penguins would take in the first round of Friday night's NHL Draft at Consol Energy Center, has changed to whether or not Jordan Staal is going to be a part of a draft day trade.
Jordan Staal, a member of a Penguins squad that has him playing the role of a third line center, when on paper, Staal could be the first line center on a team like the Columbus Blue Jackets or the Carolina Hurricanes, a team that has shown the most interested in getting Staal in a trade if the Penguins make a move this weekend.
Staal's contract is up next season. He could play out the rest of his contract, and make $4.5 million, $1.5 million less than he would get in the 10 year, $6 million contract he has turned down according to reports. Is Staal worthy of a bigger contract? Yes, he is. But the Penguins are dealing with a "Sophie's Choice" scenario between the face of the franchise, the current league MVP and him.
Everyone of them has an argument of why they deserve to stay in Pittsburgh. Staal has been a versatile player since the Penguins drafted him. A player that has come up big on the offensive and defensive side of the ice, especially his penalty-killing ability and producing short-handed opportunities.
Staal is the odd man out in this situation. Most people should've seen that a mile away. Penguin fans shouldn't crucify Staal for making the choice not to accept the contract. He is a talented player that plays on a team with overloaded talent in the center position. Staal is a first, second line center on most other NHL teams. Pittsburgh has been fortunate to have three great players. But with a cap and Malkin and Crosby's contracts between now and 2014, the Penguins trading him could clear up some room.
So realize that someone was gonna go. Unfortunately, the goodbye might come too early for most in Pittsburgh. We'll know soon.
So you have another reason to tune into the NHL Draft tomorrow night. I'll be there live-tweeting, so make sure to follow @Gallagher412