July 1, 2006
21-year old led Hurricanes in scoring in 2005-06 and NHL in postseason

RALEIGH, NC - Jim Rutherford, President and General Manager of the Stanley Cup champion Carolina Hurricanes, today announced that the team has signed center Eric Staal to a three-year contract. The deal will pay the 2003 second overall draft pick $4 million in 2006-07, $4.5 million in 2007-08 and $5 million in 2008-09.

"Eric has developed into one of the premier scorers and playmakers in the National Hockey League," said Rutherford. "He led our team in goals, assists and points last year, and he had a fantastic postseason, making big plays at key times. He is one of the centerpieces for the Hurricanes and we are glad to have him under contract for the next few seasons."

In 2005-06, Staal, 21, became the first player to post a 100-point season in a Carolina Hurricanes uniform, and the first player to earn 100-or-more points in a season for the franchise since Ron Francis had 101 in 1989-90. Staal's 45 goals during the regular season were the most for a center in franchise history and marked the first time a Hurricanes player has notched 40-or-more goals since Jeff O'Neill had 41 in 2000-01. Staal finished the season ranked seventh in the National Hockey League in points (100), eighth in goals (45) and tied for eighth in power-play goals (19), and was named to the NHL's Second All-Star Team. He led the Hurricanes in goals (45), points (100) and shots on goal (279), and tied for the team lead in assists (55) while playing in all 82 regular-season games.



During the postseason, Staal (6' 4", 205 lbs.) led all NHLers with 28 points, 19 assists, seven power-play goals, 10 power-play assists, 17 power-play points and 87 shots while playing in all 25 of Carolina's games en route to the Stanley Cup championship.

He posted a 15-game postseason points streak with at least a point per game from April 24 to May 28, posting seven goals and 13 assists in that span. His 15-game postseason points streak is the longest in franchise history and tied for fifth longest in NHL postseason history.

The Hurricanes drafted Staal with the second overall pick in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. Since turning profressional at the start of the 2003-04 season, the Thunder Bay, Ont., native has scored 56 goals and added 75 assists (131 points) in 163 NHL regular-season games. Staal spend all of 2004-05 with Lowell of the American Hockey League, scoring 26 goals, earning 51 assists (77 points) in 77 games.

For information regarding 2006-07 Carolina Hurricanes ticket packages, please call 1-866-NHL-CANES or visit www.CarolinaHurricanes.com.



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