News & Observer | newsobserver.com | Staal, younger brother arrested

Published: Jul 25, 2007 01:38 PM
Modified: Jul 25, 2007 04:10 PM

Staal, younger brother arrested

Carolina Hurricanes center Eric Staal was one of 14 people arrested in Cook County, Minn., early Saturday morning and charged with disorderly conduct and obstructing the legal process. One of his three younger brothers was also arrested.

Staal's agent, Rick Curran, said today that the group was gathered at the Lutsen Resort and Sea Villas in Lutsen, Minn., for Staal's bachelor party and he expected the misdemeanor charges to be reduced or dismissed. Staal, who will be married in August, could not be immediately reached for comment today.

According to a statement released by the Cook County Sheriff's office, after the Sheriff's office received complaints about "screaming, yelling and playing loud music," the group of about 20 was warned "multiple times" before it was ordered to leave the resort by Sheriff's deputies, a Minnesota State Patrol trooper and a U.S. Border Patrol agent at 3 a.m. Saturday.

"After leaving the property, the group gathered on Highway 61 and began harassing passing motorists," the Sheriff's office said, at which point 14 members of the group were arrested at approximately 4 a.m.

"I have no doubt there were probably a couple kids lipping off or something like that," Curran said. "Frankly, that goes with the territory. You get that many a group of kids together, somebody is going to say something stupid."

In addition to Staal, 22, his younger brother Jordan, 18, and a number of his cousins were arrested as well. Jordan Staal, who just finished his rookie year with the Pittsburgh Penguins, was also charged with consumption of alcohol while under 21 years of age.

Lutsen is about two hours from the Staals' hometown of Thunder Bay, Ontario. Earlier this month, the Staal brothers were honored there with a plaque outside the arena where they grew up playing -- after dismissing suggestions the arena be renamed in their honor.

Eric Staal, 22, completed his third season with the Hurricanes this spring. At $4.5 million per season, he is the team's highest-paid player.

With 201 points in 245 career games, he's on pace to crack the franchise's all-time top 10 during the 2009-2010 season, which would be his sixth in the league. He led the NHL in postseason scoring with 28 points when the Hurricanes won the Stanley Cup in 2006.

"Unless there's some information I don't have beyond the limited amount I do have, I don't believe there's anything the club will do," Hurricanes general manager Jim Rutherford said. "If there's more information as time goes on, we'll certainly follow it along as to the seriousness of the matter. If it is what I've been told it is, I don't see it being an issue."

Staff writer Luke DeCock can be reached at (919) 829-8947 or luke.decock@newsobserver.com.

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