|Born||October 29, 1984 |
Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada
|Height||6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)|
|Weight||205 lb (93 kg; 14 st 9 lb)|
|New York Rangers|
|NHL Draft||2nd overall, 2003|
Eric Staal (born Eric Craig Staal on October 29, 1984) is a Canadian ice hockey player currently playing for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL).
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.
Playing Career[edit | edit source]
Eric 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 his father thought Eric was fit for the OHL, Eric finished his first season with 49 points in 63 games. In his sophomore season, Eric 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.
Eric 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, Eric 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, Eric 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.
In the 2005-06 NHL season, Eric 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. Eric 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, he signed a three year, $13.5 million contract with the Hurricanes.
Eric 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, he recorded two goals and an assist. He was also awarded the MVP award for the event.
On September 11, 2008, Eric signed a seven year, $57.75 million deal with the Hurricanes beginning in the 2009–2010 NHL season. He 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.
On April 28, 2009, Eric 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.
The Hurricanes went as far as the Eastern Conference Finals, losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins. On May 8, 2009, he scored twice to earn 40 career postseason points and eclipse Ron Francis' franchise mark of 39.
On January 20, 2010, Eric was named team captain, replacing Rod Brind'Amour who was named an alternate captain. He became the fifth captain since the team relocated to Raleigh. On January 18, 2011, Eric was named the captain of the 2011 NHL All-Star Game in Raleigh.
Eric 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.
International Play[edit | edit source]
|Competitor for Canada|
|Men's ice hockey|
|Olympic Winter Games|
|Silver||2008 Halifax / Quebec City|
Eric got his first calls to Canada men's national ice hockey team in the 2007 World Championships in Moscow. Along with younger brother Jordan, he won gold in a 4-2 win against Finland, scoring 5 goals - including the overtime winner in the quarterfinals with the Czech Republic.
In the following year, Eric was back with Team Canada at the 2008 World Championships in Quebec City, winning a silver medal He scored eight goals in the tournament, four of them in Canada's 10-1 defeat of Germany.
Four years after being named only for Canada's taxi squad in the 2006 Winter Olympics, Eric was drafted for the Canadian team at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. He became a starter alongside Sidney Crosby and Jarome Iginla. He 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.
Eric was named captain of Team Canada in the 2013 World Championships in Stockholm. 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.
Career Statistics[edit | edit source]
|1999–00||Thunder Bay Kings Bantam AAA||TBAHA||61||40||36||76||52||-||-||-||-||-|
|2004–05||Lowell Lock Monsters||AHL||77||26||51||77||88||11||2||8||10||12|
International Statistics[edit | edit source]
|Senior int'l totals||32||10||16||26||22|
Awards & Achievements[edit | edit source]
- 2002–03: Top Draft Prospect Award (OHL)
- 2002–03: Second All-Star Team (OHL)
- 2002–03: First All-Star Team (CHL)
- 2003–04: Played in the YoungStars Game (NHL)
- 2005–06: Won Stanley Cup with Carolina Hurricanes, NHL 2nd All-Star Team
- 2007: World Ice Hockey gold
- NHL All-Star Game appearances: 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011
- 2007–08: All-Star Game MVP
- 2010: Olympic gold (Staal became the 23rd member of the Triple Gold Club)[
Records[edit | edit source]
- Most hat tricks in 2008–09 - 4
- Carolina Hurricanes' franchise record for most hat tricks in a single season - 4 (2008–09)
- Carolina Hurricanes' franchise record for most career post-season points - 43
- Carolina Hurricanes' franchise record for consecutive games - 349 (2004-2009)
Personal Life[edit | edit source]
Eric was born in Thunder Bay, Ontario. He is the son of sod farmers Henry and Linda Staal. He started playing hockey when he was four years old. He also learned how to operate farming tools he played in a home ice rink with his three younger brothers.
On August 3, 2007, Eric married his long-time girlfriend Tanya Van de Broeke. They have two sons: Parker Lucas Staal (born on September 22, 2009) and Levi John Staal (born on December 11, 2011).