Hockey

Coyotes release Jared Staal

The 2009-10 NHL season will not begin with a fourth Staal brother after Jared, 19, is released by the Phoenix Coyotes. He returns to the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League.

Right-winger will play 4th season in OHL with Sudbury Wolves

The 2009-10 NHL season will not begin with a fourth Staal brother.

Jared, a 19-year-old right-winger, was released by the Phoenix Coyotes on Thursday and will return to the Sudbury Wolves of the Ontario Hockey League for a fourth season.

His brothers, Eric of the Carolina Hurricanes, Jordan of the defending Stanley Cup champion Pittsburgh Penguins and Marc of the New York Rangers, are not in danger of losing their jobs.

"When I was younger … I thought I had to live up to what they were doing or whatever," Jared told The Canadian Press this week. "Now I'm just proud for them … and I couldn't be more happy for the success they've had."

Eric and Jordan broke into the NHL as teenagers while Marc, the lone defenceman in the family, was 20 when he cracked the Rangers blue-line.

It's something the Coyotes have been mindful of when assessing the six-foot-four, 198-pound Jared.

"I think it's difficult for him because he is not anywhere nearly as advanced physically as his brothers were at the same stage, and of course everybody's comparing them," Phoenix general manager Don Maloney said.

"But we're not. We look at him as a long-term project."

Jared has improved his point totals in each of his first three years in Sudbury — three, 49 and 52 last season in 67 games — and has some added motivation to make this year the best.

Jordan brought the Stanley Cup back to the family farm in Thunder Bay, Ont., three years after Eric won with the Hurricanes.

"That was an awesome time, I couldn't be more proud," said Jared, who was chosen 49th overall by the Coyotes in 2008. "It made me realize how much dedication it takes to win the Cup. I want to have a party like that someday."