Carolina Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said today that the team hoped to sign star forward Eric Staal to a long-term contract in the next week to 10 days.
Rutherford would not disclose the financial figures being discussed, but it is believed Staal could receive a seven- or eight-year contract that will pay him between $7 million and $10 million a year.
"We're continuing to talk and have talked more of late," Rutherford said. "I would expect us to get a deal done soon. We're getting to the point we're just trying to fine-tune it."
Rutherford said it was a priority to reach an agreement before the Sept. 19 start of training camp.
"I don't like to negotiate contracts during the year," he said. "It's a distraction, not only for the player whose contract is being done but other players think, 'Where do I fall in?'"
Staal, called the team's "franchise player" by Rutherford, will make $5 million this season in the final year of his deal and could become a restricted free agent next summer.
"My wife and I dearly love the area, we love the organization," Staal said today."We want to win — that's the thing.
"It's not something I'm stressing about. It's not something that's going to affect my game. I'm just going to play."