Penguins Notebook: Staal considered one of team's 'untouchables'
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SUNRISE, Fla. -- Jordan Staal couldn't help but wonder at times if he would be in the Penguins' lineup when they played Florida last night at BankAtlantic Center.
"This is really my first year I was worried that I might get traded," Staal said yesterday.
At 6 feet 4, 220 pounds, 20 years old, playing behind all-world centers Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin and after signing what could be considered a reasonable four-year, $16 million contract in January that kicks in for 2009-10, Staal was the subject of trade speculation leading up to Wednesday's NHL trade deadline.
So was defenseman Ryan Whitney, and he got traded by the Penguins to Anaheim eight days ago.
Not only did the deadline pass without the third-year center being moved, but general manager Ray Shero also made it clear later Wednesday that despite interest from other teams, he had considered Staal untouchable.
"It's definitely nice to hear," said Staal, a two-way threat who had 17 goals, 35 points going into last night. "I guess you never say never, but it's nice that I'm still here and that he wants me on the team."
Staal was the second overall pick in the 2006 draft and the Penguins' first selection with Shero at the helm.
'Wild Man of Borneo'
Winger Craig Adams, claimed by the Penguins off waivers Wednesday from Chicago, has a nickname, "The Wild Man of Borneo."
It has a lot more to do with geography than demeanor or intelligence.
Adams was born in the Sultanate of Brunei on the island of Borneo to parents who moved a lot for business, but he was raised in Calgary and has Canadian citizenship.
He also has a history degree from Harvard, where he played four seasons before spending the bulk of his NHL career with Carolina.
Penguins defenseman Sergei Gonchar thought he had the timing down. He was going to go home to Pittsburgh while the team has a day off today to be there when his wife, Ksenia, had labor induced.
The couple's second daughter had other ideas.
Gonchar was pulled off the ice near the end of the team's morning skate to take a call saying his wife was having contractions. He flew to Pittsburgh and just made it before a successful delivery.
It was the first game he missed since he made his season debut Feb. 14 after October shoulder surgery.
The Penguins recalled rookie defenseman Alex Goligoski from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton to replace Gonchar. Goligoski began the season with the Penguins but had been with the American Hockey League club for a month after he became the odd man out in a glut of healthy defensemen.
Goligoski, 23, had six goals, 20 points and a plus-minus rating of plus-5 in 44 games with the Penguins. He had two goals, eight points in 11 games with Wilkes-Barre
Penguins equipment manager Dana Heinze left the team to go home to Johnstown. His father, Louis J. Heinze, died Wednesday. ... Newly acquired winger Bill Guerin is wearing uniform No. 13. Goligoski, who previously wore that number, switched to No. 3. Adams is wearing No. 27. ... The Penguins scratched Gonchar and winger Eric Godard. ... Florida scratched defenseman Nick Boynton and winger Nick Tarnasky. ... Coldwell Banker Real Estate Services (888-373-3262 or firstname.lastname@example.org) is selling 2,000 raffle tickets, $20 each, to win autographed Crosby, Malkin and Marc-Andre Fleury jerseys. Proceeds benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
First Published March 6, 2009 12:00 am