All in the Family

This past Olympics hockey fans were given a little bit of history on the Staal family from Thunder Bay, Ontario. The eldest of the four, Carolina Hurricanes Captain Eric Staal seemed to click well with Sidney Crosby and played with him in the final Olympic games, including the Gold Medal game. Coach Mike Babcock had trouble finding wings for Sid,  starting with Bergeron and Nash, then Nash and Iginla, and finally Iginla and Staal. NBC made sure to mention that Staal’s father made a backyard rink for the boys and they started young. If you were paying attention you would have heard that all four boys were playing professionally or semi-professionally.

Even though the Staal family resides in Thunder Bay, Ontario (which is a good seven or eight hour drive from Minneapolis aka Western Conference territory) three of the boys were playing in the Eastern Conference. Eric is the Captain for the Hurricanes, Jordan Staal is a member of the best third line in the league for the Pittsburgh Penguins, and Marc Staal is a member of the New York Rangers who just missed out on the playoffs after losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in a shoot-out and finishing ninth in the Eastern Conference. Baby Staal, otherwise known as Jared Staal, was playing in the OHL with the Sudbury Wolves and property of the Phoenix Coyotes, until yesterday. Of the four Staal brothers, he is the only right handed shooter, just as Marc is the only defenseman. He was also the only Staal brother not to be picked in the first round or by an Eastern Conference team. He’s also the only Staal brother who is under 6’4″, measuring in at a measley 6’3″.

Yesterday the Coyotes traded rights to Jared Staal in exchange for a fifth round draft pick from the Carolina Hurricanes. With that, all four brothers will be playing in the NHL and all four brothers will be playing for the Eastern Conference. Even more impressive, Eric and Jared will be together. Eric had said before that it had always been Eric and Jared v. Marc and Jordan. Even though the youngest of the four has the fewest accolades and was passed over in the first round, we have to believe that playing with his older brother will only improve his game.

Eric Staal was the only member to join the Triple Gold club this past Winter Olympics. He won the Stanley Cup in 2006 with the Hurricanes, the World Championships Gold (with brother Jordan) in 2007, and a Winter Olympic Gold in 2010. Both Jordan and Eric have their names engraved on Lord Stanley’s Cup.

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