SUN Hockey Pool

NHL notes: Staal turns down long-term deal with Pens

Reports say Jordan Staal declined a long-term contract extension with the Penguins. (REUTERS)

Reports say Jordan Staal declined a long-term contract extension with the Penguins. (REUTERS)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:01 PM ET

Pittsburgh Penguins centre Jordan Staal says he loves playing in the Steel City.

But clearly not enough to sign a contract extension with the Penguins.

Staal, who will become an unrestricted free agent following the 2012-13 season, rejected a 10-year extension with the Pens Thursday, according to TSN's Bob McKenzie. The report suggests Staal wants to avoid negotiating any new contract now.

"He is not prepared to enter into a contract extension at this time," Staal's agent, Paul Krepelka, told TSN's Pierre LeBrun.

Speculation has already started that Staal wants to join his older brother, Eric, with the Carolina Hurricanes when his deal with the Pens runs out.

Earlier this week, Penguins general manager Ray Shero told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that he wouldn't trade Staal, saying he is "not listening to offers. I want Jordan here. I want him here for a long time and that's what I'm going to try to do."

Staal, who is going into the last year of a four-year, $16 million contract, had 25 goals and 25 assists in 62 games with the Pens last season. In 431 career games, he has 120 goals and 128 assists.

NASH DEAL NOT CLOSE

Don't hold your breath waiting for the Columbus Blue Jackets to trade disgruntled captain Rick Nash.

Blue Jackets general manager Scott Howson told the Columbus Dispatch Thursday that a deal for Nash wasn't imminent.

"Uh no, not at all," Howson told the Dispatch. "A lot of things can happen between now and when the draft is over. I'm not counting on anything. Obviously our goal is to do what's best for team and that's how we'll continue to operate."

According to other reports, the San Jose Sharks and Ottawa Senators are the two teams most interested in acquiring Nash. Other reports say Philadelphia Flyers forward James van Riemsdyk, long rumoured to be headed to Columbus in a deal for Nash, would be willing to accept a trade to the Blue Jackets.

Howson also told the Dispatch he wasn't interested in going after the top pick in Friday's NHL draft, held by the Edmonton Oilers, but could move down from the second spot.

KINGS OPEN VS. RANGERS

The Los Angeles Kings will raise their Stanley Cup championship banner before their season opener Oct. 12 against the New York Rangers.

The 2012-13 NHL season will actually start the night before on four fronts when the Montreal Canadiens will host the Ottawa Senators, the Calgary Flames will play the Vancouver Canucks at the Saddledome, the Boston Bruins visit the Philadelphia Flyers and the St. Louis Blues take on the Colorado Avalanche in Denver.

The Toronto Maple Leafs will host the Habs in their season opener Oct. 13 at the Air Canada Centre. The Winnipeg Jets play their first game against the Carolian Hurricanes at the MTS Centre Oct. 13, the same night as the Edmonton Oilers open the season in Vancouver.

The 2012-13 NHL schedule, released Thursday, is obviously dependent on an new collective bargaining agreement being signed before the season begins.

BRIEFLY

The Anaheim Ducks signed a multi-year affiliation agreement with the AHL-champion Norfolk Admirals. The Ducks had been affiliated with the Syracuse Crunch from 2010-12 ... The Florida Panthers are no closer to signing unrestricted free agent defenceman Jason Garrison but GM Dale Tallon says he will speak with the player's agent at the NHL draft, according to the Miami Herald. Tallon also said no team has approached him about acquiring the rights to Garrison, who had 16 goals and 17 assists in 77 games with the Panthers last season.


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