Bruce Boudreau is hoping he can kickstart Eric Staal's slumping career.
The Minnesota Wild's head coach is getting a head start on which of his players he will make linemates for the upcoming NHL season. However he des have a new face to work with in forward Eric Staal, who was acquired after one of the worst seasons of his career to date. The former Carolina Hurricanes' captain had seen his game slip as of the late couple of seasons, and many teams were reluctant to pay a high asking price for him. However, this doesn't concern Boudreau, who is hoping that Staal has a bounce back year playing alongside one of the faces of the franchise.
Boudreau told Paul Allen of KFAN Sports Radio on Thursday.
Maybe I'm out in left field, but I think Eric is going to have a great year. I think there's been circumstances for the last two years that haven't been well, but I am pretty sure that he is really excited about coming to Minny, and he is really excited about playing.He's going to start off with Zach (Parise), and probably Charlie Coyle on the right. Eric and Charlie are big men. Zach works harder than anybody around. I think it's going to be a highly successful line. At least I'm hoping it will be.
Staal recorded 13 goals and 39 points in 83 games split between the Hurricanes and New York Rangers this past season, the lowest output of his career since his rookie year (31 points in 2013-14). The 31-year-old signed a three-year, $10.5-million contract with the Wild and appears primed for an opportunity to produce for his new team.