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‘Unfinished business’: What Hurricanes captain Jordan Staal said about his next contract

Saying he has unfinished business with the Carolina Hurricanes, Jordan Staal said Friday he wants to sign a new contract and stay with the team as it pursues a Stanley Cup.

“I don’t plan on going anywhere,” the Canes captain said. “I’ve obviously been here long enough and there’s no reason to leave.

“I’m sure we’ll find a way to get a deal done now that we’re finished here and we’ll hopefully check off some unfinished business here. ... We have a great group of guys and a great team and it has been a pleasure to be a leader here and be part of these guys. So I’m planning on leaving for sure.”

Staal spoke to the media Friday as the Hurricanes players and management went through end-of-season interviews. The Canes hoped to be playing the Florida Panthers on Friday in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final but that was not to be after the Panthers swept Carolina in four tight games.

The Canes, in the playoffs for a fifth straight season with Rod Brind’Amour as head coach, had the second-best record in the league and the home-ice advantage against the Panthers, the No. 8 seed in the East. But the Canes lost the first two games at home, both in overtime, and then a pair of one-goal games at the Panthers’ FLA Live Arena.

The Panthers’ Matthew Tkachuk scored a power-play with five seconds left in regulation Wednesday for a 4-3 win in Game 4 after Staal was called for tripping with 57 seconds remaining.

Staal, 34, has been with the Hurricanes since June 2012, when he was traded by the Pittsburgh Penguins to Carolina — on his wedding day. He soon signed a 10-year, $60 million extension with the team that ran through the 2022-23 season and is due to become an unrestricted free agent.

As for how a new contract with the Hurricanes might be structured, Staal said: “We’ll see how that goes. I’m not sure about the numbers and the details and whatever helps the team moving forward with the (salary) cap. We’ll find something that works for both parties and we’ll move on to bigger and better things here soon.”

In coming to Carolina, Staal joined older brother Eric Staal and the two were determined to lead the team to their first playoff berth since 2009. That didn’t happen and Eric Staal, then the Canes captain, was traded — first to the New York Rangers — in February 2016.

Jordan Staal noted in his exit interview last year that his contract was coming to an end and he wanted to go out “with a bang.” Many interpreted that as him saying he planned on it being his last season with the Hurricanes but he later clarified it and did again Friday.

“At the end of last year I just mentally wanted to play to the end of the contract and be relevant still,” he said Friday. “I’m happy I’m still relevant, playing some good hockey and contributing.

“And now, moving forward, I just want to be here and part of this group. I love these guys, love this organization. It’s been so much fun and I’m so blessed to be here and be part of this as long as I have, and the way it’s headed.”