The National Hockey League rejected the Carolina Hurricanes' contract extension for centre Eric Staal on Monday, citing issues with the no-trade clause in it.
The issue with the contract pertains to the wording of the clause. The contract that was rejected by the league specified that his no-trade clause kicked in on July 1, 2010, when he is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.
But Staal is only eligible for unrestricted free agency on that date if he plays both of the next two seasons, as he needs those two years service to qualify for free agency. If for any reason he doesn't play one of those two years, he wouldnt be eligible on the specific date.
The re-submitted contract will simply say the no-trade clause kicks in as soon as he's eligible for unrestricted free agency.
The Hurricanes locked up Eric Staal to a $57.75 million deal last Thursday.
Staal is entering his fifth season with the Hurricanes and was in the final year of a three-year contract he signed in 2006 that would have paid him $5 million. He was slated to become a restricted free agent after the season.
The native of Thunder Bay, Ontario who had 100 points three seasons ago in leading the Hurricanes to their first Stanley Cup, tallied 38 goals and 44 assists in 2007-08.