Penguins center Jordan Staal has rejected a long-term offer to remain with the team and is leaning toward becoming an unrestricted free agent next summer, sources close to the negotiations told the Tribune-Review.
The Penguins’ offer was for 10 years. Financial terms were not disclosed.
Staal, who is entering the final year a four-year contract worth $16 million, has not ruled out remaining with the Penguins but has told team officials he is open to signing with Carolina if a trade can be made.
“My only comments will be that Jordan is not prepared to enter into a contract extension at this time,” said his agent, Paul Krepelka.
Penguins general manager Ray Shero did not return messages seeking comment.
Staal, 23, is set to be married this weekend.
Many of his Penguins teammates are attending the wedding, and Staal is keeping them up to date regarding his situation with the team.
Staal’s older brother, Eric, is the Hurricanes’ top center and captain, and Jordan Staal is intrigued by the idea of playing with his brother in Carolina, where their parents now spend the majority of their time.
Younger brother Jared Staal is a prospect in the Hurricanes’ system.
Staal was the first draft pick by Shero, who selected him second overall in 2006. Shero said earlier this week that he was not fielding offers for Staal and that re-signing him was a priority along with working out a long-term contract with center Sidney Crosby, whose deal is also set to expire after this season.
Staal scored 25 goals and tallied 25 assists in 62 games last season and finished with a plus-11 rating. He has 120 goals and 128 assists in 431 career games over six seasons.