The dream of having all four of the Staal brothers on the same NHL team could become a reality if defenseman Marc fails to reach an agreement on a contract extension with the new York Rangers.
With three of them already in the Hurricanes' organization, Eric Staal says a playoff berth this season could help convince Marc to leave the Big Apple in order to join himself, Jordan and minor-leaguer Jared in Carolina.
As Eric explained to Chip Alexander of the News & Observer:
(Marc's) been with the Rangers his whole career and they're a consistent playoff team, went to the finals last year. I think it would be easier if he had won a Stanley Cup. For him to leave there it would probably feel, like it would for me or for Jordan, like you have some unfinished business. He's come close. They're a consistent contender every year and I know he likes that. For that to change around here, we have to make the playoffs. That'd be good for us.
Marc and the Rangers are believed to be discussing an extension, but with a significant valuation gap hindering progress. As the negotiation process continues, Eric says he and his brothers won't interfere, or hold it against Marc, if he ultimately decides to remain in New York.
"I know he's in negotiations with the Rangers," Eric said. "He likes it there. He wants to be there. He's made that clear, made that clear to them as well. Obviously anything can happen, but we haven't really been in his ear as far as 'Wait another year' or anything like that.
"I think he knows that. The ball's in his court as far as that goes. Obviously as a brother you're not going to despise him either way, whatever happens."
The Hurricanes haven't qualified for the postseason since 2009, while the Rangers enter 2014-15 as the reigning Eastern Conference champions.
Carolina's chances at success this year took a hit when Jordan Staal suffered a broken leg in the preseason, and the Hurricanes could very well end up in the basement of the Metropolitan Division, meaning blood ties may not be enough to convince Marc to move south anytime soon.