Speaking to the Raleigh News & Observer in his first public comments since the arrest, Staal said he was surprised that his mug shot – along with his younger brother Jordan’s – appeared on the cover of the Toronto Sun.
“That was frightening,” Staal told the News & Observer. “I knew it would probably appear somewhere, sometime. I didn’t think it would be blown up into that big of a deal.
“I don’t know. I guess our name has been around a little bit the last couple years in hockey, so it turned into that.”
The two Staal brothers were among 14 people arrested and charged with disorderly conduct during Eric’s bachelor party in Lutsen, Minn., on July 21.
The brothers accepted a plea deal after the incident and were fined US$587. Jordan Staal, who plays for the Pittsburgh Penguins, was also fined $150 for drinking under age.
The Staals are from Thunder Bay, Ont., about two hours from the Lutsen Resort and Sea Villas, where they were arrested around 4 a.m. on July 21.
The group was told to quiet down multiple times before finally being ordered to leave. At that point, they began harassing motorists on a nearby road and were arrested.
“It was just a bunch of guys who were loud, and we were in the wrong area to be loud. That was pretty much it,” said Staal. “They told us to be quiet, we didn’t really quiet down enough and then they did what they did. It wasn’t pleasant but it is what it is now.”