When Jordan Staal was signed last year for $4 million a year (don't remember if it was 2 or 4 years), many people were a little upset at the price. Honestly, even though I didn't vocalize it, I was one of those people. I think most of that comes from looking at the players that were drafted around him. With the 2nd pick, GM Ray Shero could've gone with a more offensive guy to add to the club but he didn't. At the time, it may have seemed like a gamble (Geno Malkin hadn't played a game in the NHL yet). Just as Shero has done many times before, he picked up the perfect fit.
Four seasons later, I'm thinking that $4 million is too little. At 21, this kid is already a beast and is only going to get better. What Gronk brings to this club is much more valuable than having a wing for Crosby/Malkin. We witnessed that in the games 2 and 3 of the Montreal series. Some people may say that without Gronk out, the PK is missing an important piece. While that's very true, his play at even strength is key. Dan Bylsma was suddenly forced to pin Sid with not only Gill and Gorges, but the defensive burden of Montreal's top line. Staal could've taken that line for Sid and taken some of that pressure off of him. At the same time, Staal would've taken some of the pressure off of Geno (who did not have a good game 2 at all) offensively with the cycling ability the 3rd line brings.
I think we all saw hows valuable Staal is to this team in recent days and, for me at least, it's safe to say I hope Staal is with us for a long, long time.