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Helping Eric Staal
Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - Uniting brothers Eric and Jordan Staal was obviously expected to have positive results for the Carolina Hurricanes, but another addition has actually made a bigger impact on Eric Staal's fantasy value.

The Hurricanes scooped up right wing Alexander Semin from the Washington Capitals for one year and $7 million last July and added him to the top line with Eric Staal and Jiri Tlusty.

That trio has been one of the most productive lines in the NHL this season, scoring nine even-strength goals, second-most in the NHL to the Buffalo Sabres line of Thomas Vanek, Cody Hodgson and Jason Pominville, according to leftwinglock.com.

Staal has had a mixed fantasy career. He has five 30-goal seasons and six 40- assist seasons but has only produced more than 80 points twice -- in 2005-06, when he had 100 points, and 2007-08, when he put up 82. He was also a minus-33 for his career prior to this season.

Staal did have 70 points in 70 games in 2009-10, Ray Whitney's last season with the team. But his numbers have slipped the last two seasons playing with the likes of Tuomo Ruutu, Chad Larose and Drayson Bowman on the wing.

The center has always been a prolific shooter -- he has attempted at least 262 SOG in each of the last seven seasons -- but has only scored on 11.2 percent of his shots in his career and slipped to 9.2 percent last season, when he scored 24 goals on 262 shots.

The addition of the Semin has helped Staal put up numbers reminiscent of 2005-06 with eight goals on 47 shots and eight assists to go with an NHL- leading plus-12 differential in 12 games.

Semin's numbers have also benefited from playing with Staal and getting more ice time after falling out of favor in Washington for his enigmatic behavior. Semin has three goals, seven assists, 42 SOG and a plus-11 in 21 minutes per game.

Getting Jordan Staal from the Pittsburgh Penguins has helped alleviate some of the pressure on the older Staal to carry the Hurricanes on his back.

Jordan Staal has centered the team's second line with Jeff Skinner and Patrick Dwyer on the wings. That line has scored four full-strength goals, tied for 20th in the NHL. Jordan Staal has a goal and 10 assists, Dwyer has four goals in 12 games after scoring five in 73 last season and Skinner has attempted 53 SOG and scored seven goals.

Eric Staal was drafted with the 26th overall pick on average in Yahoo! leagues, a mid-second round value. But he has outproduced that by far and currently ranks fifth overall in default scoring leagues.




Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Thomas J. Harrigan at tharrigan@sportsnetwork.com.

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