Playing in his sixth NHL season, all with the Carolina Hurricanes... Named the team's captain on Jan. 20, 2010, replacing veteran Rod Brind'Amour... Scored 100 points (45-55) in 2005-06, his second NHL season, as the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup... Posted 28 points (9-19) in 25 playoff games during Carolina's run to the Cup... Scored 75 points in 2008-09, with 40 goals and 35 assists.
Making his Olympic debut in Vancouver... Was named an alternate in 2006 but did not go to Torino... Played on the 2007 World Championships team that won gold, posting five goals and five assists in nine games... Also on the 2008 Worlds team that took silver behind Russia... Had four goals and three assists in eight games.
Staal and his wife, Tanya, have a son named Parker, born in September 2009... They spend their summers in Thunder Bay, Ontario... His brothers Marc (NY Rangers, 2005) and Jordan (Pittsburgh, 2006) were also first-round draft picks and play in the NHL... His youngest brother, Jared, was drafted in the second round of the 2008 Draft by Phoenix, and currently plays for the Sudbury Wolves in the Ontario Hockey League... Jordan and Marc were also invited to Canada's Olympic orientation camp in the summer of 2009, but only Eric made the Olympic roster... They grew up on a 500-acre sod farm, which their dad runs, and all worked on the farm until they started in the NHL.
As the pilot for the USA-1 bobsled, I broke a 62-year gold medal drought when my sled, the 'Night Train" won the Olympic title at the 2010 Vancouver Games. A degenerative eye condition nearly caused me to quit my sport in 2008, but corrective surgery restored my vision to 20-20.