RALEIGH, N.C. – The Carolina Hurricanes are going Staal in for the home finale.
They added their third Staal brother Wednesday when right wing Jared Staal was called up from their AHL affiliate in Charlotte. He will join older brothers Eric and Jordan Staal on the roster.
“The more, the merrier,” Eric, the team captain, said after practice Wednesday.
Jared is scheduled to make his NHL debut Thursday night against the New York Rangers—brother Marc Staal’s team. Coach Kirk Muller says Jared likely will start out skating on Jordan’s line.
“There’s a pretty good chance—we’ve got three of the four in the lineup—that a couple of them (will be) playing together at some point anyway,” Muller said. “It’ll be fun for them.”
Marc has been out since he was struck in the right eye with a puck against Philadelphia on March 5.
“Maybe he’ll dress for warmups and skate around so we’re all out there at the same time,” Eric quipped.
The Hurricanes will miss the playoffs for the fourth straight year and sixth time in the seven seasons since they won the Stanley Cup in 2006. So in their final couple of games, they’re giving some younger players a chance to make an impression.
Now it’s Jared Staal’s turn.
He had four goals and three assists in 52 games with Charlotte this season while establishing himself as a solid penalty-killer and as what Eric called a “power-type forward.” All four brothers are 6-foot-4 and weigh between 200-220 pounds.
“I’m very excited, obviously, because he’s been working hard,” Jordan said. “For him to get the opportunity is very exciting, and hopefully he plays well and has some fun.”
The Staals are the 10th trio of brothers in North America’s four major professional sports leagues—and the fourth in the NHL—to play for the same team in the same season, according to STATS. It hasn’t happened in any of those sports since Anton, Peter and Marian Stastny were with the Quebec Nordiques in 1985.
At 22, Jared is the youngest of the Staal brothers, and he has been in the Hurricanes’ organization since they acquired his rights from Phoenix in a trade three years ago.
It’s been a much tougher path to the NHL for Jared—the Coyotes’ second-round pick in 2008—than for his three brothers, all of whom were drafted in the first round and barely spent any time in the minors.
“I don’t envy … any of my younger brothers, the positions they were put in,” Eric said. “I was fortunate enough to be the first one through everything, and there wasn’t a lot of expectation. You didn’t know. And once I kind of established myself, then all eyes started pointing to them and how they developed and how they’d do.
“Along with that comes pressure, and everybody develops at different stages of their careers,” he added. “He’s been through the grinds and up and downs, and I think he’s starting to learn what he needs to do to be effective, and hopefully that continues.”
Follow Joedy McCreary on Twitter at (at)JoedyAP.