Now that the initial shock of the trade has worn off, it’s easy to see that the Jordan Staal trade is best for both sides. The Pens clear up cap space that is needed, and Jordan can finally become the star he deserves to be.
However, it will be hard to forget Jordan Staal. Ever since he was drafted 2nd overall in 2006, he’s done a lot for the Pens, and will always be remembered as one of the guys who helped the Pens become the successful team that they are today. So, to remember him, I present 5 of his best moments in a Penguins sweater.
5. 100th Goal
It was just another regular game against the New Jersey Devils. The Pens were already up 2-1, Staalsy had already scored 1 goal, and he scored one more. It wasn’t just any other goal though, it was his 100th career goal.
4. The 2010/2011 season
OK, so maybe 2010 wasn’t Staalsy’s year. After a foot injury during the playoff series against the Habs kept him off the ice for the beginning of the season, he was almost ready to come back when a freak accident in practice broke his hand and kept him out for a couple of more months yet again. He finally made his comeback on the biggest stage possible: the Winter Classic. Almost right after, Crosby was out with a concussion. Malkin injured his knee and was done for the rest of the season. It was time for Staal to step into the big role of acting captain, taking ceremonial face offs and what not. While he only scored 11 goals, the first being against the Canadiens, the team was quick to say how the young player was taking charge in the locker room, helping the team win.
3. First Career Playoff Hat Trick
The 2012 playoff series against the Philadelphia Flyers was one to forget. Almost every player was doing stupid things, earning penalties and suspensions and letting the Flyers score goals and win games. However, Jordan decided to stay away from the drama and score some goals for the Pens instead. Game 4 was a crucial one. The Pens were down 3-0 in the series and needed this win to avoid being swept. Well, they did win. 10-3. Jordan had a huge hand in this, as he scored his first career playoff hat trick.
2. First Career Hat Trick
First hat tricks are always special, but there are two things that make Jordan’s a little more special. His third goal was the OT winner that let the Pens win over the Toronto Maple Leafs 6-5. And the second thing? He became the youngest player in NHL history to score a hat trick.
1. Game 4 Shorthanded Goal Against Detroit
2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs. The Pens were playing the Detroit Red Wings for the second year in a row, and were hoping for a different outcome than 2008. It wasn’t looking so good. Detroit had a 2-1 series lead over the Penguins, and were leading 2-1 in game 4. It wasn’t looking any better. Detroit was on a powerplay and the Penguins were desperate to keep the puck away from them. It ended up on Jordan Staal’s stick and then in the back of Detroit’s net. Staal let out that Staal Roar. The Mellon Arena erupted. The Pens tied the game 2-2 and went on to win it 4-2. That goal was credited with being the turning point of the series for the Pens, and is probably the most important goal Staal has scored in his life.