I know I am past due for a second post regarding Trotz and coaching offensive players but it seems kind of a moot point now, and work has been insane. I hope you will all forgive me as I look at who many on this board are pointing to as a significant move this offseason.
Many on this board are pointing to Paul Stastny as a major pick-up for this team this summer. It has been said that he would instantly make players like Wilson and Smith better. That he would be the real first line center we have been waiting so long for. Is that reality though? Is he that much of an upgrade over what we have, or had? Let's see.
Here are the basic stats for three familiar centers this season in the NHL.
The strike shortened season last year.
And the 2011-2012 season.
So that gives us a three year total of the following.
So it should come as no surprise that the first player in the lists above is Paul Stastny. What may shock you is that the other two are David Legwand and Mike Fisher. Interesting.
Now to be fair, Stastny has scored more that 70 points in a season three different times over his career. Legwand is the only one that you could call coming close to that when he scored 63 in 06-07, and that would be a reach. The question now becomes which Paul Stastny are we getting if we agree to what may be the largest FA signing this offseason. I can easily see that number being in the 7-8 million dollar a year range. Are we getting the 70-80 point Paul, or the slightly better than Legwand/Fisher, but much more expensive Paul? Stastny hasn't gotten close to 70 in the last 3 full NHL seasons.(If you look at his point production in the strike year he would not have gotten there either.)
Is he an upgrade to Fisher or Legwand? Career wise the answer is a resounding yes! If we are looking at the more recent history then the answer is a little bit more cloudy. Stastny played in a much more offensive minded system this season(I don't think many will argue that) yet only put up only 9 more points than Legwand, and 11 more than Fisher. Is that worth 7-8 million a year?Some 3+ million more than Fisher? I am not sure. It depends on if you believe he is capable of making that 70-80 point mark again consistently.
Can he make others better? Absolutely. He has passed 50 assists twice in his career. Can we expect that type of performance to continue? Well... It has been 4 seasons since he made that mark. This last season he was 5th on his team in assists. Now his total would have placed him 1st on the Predators this season, but he also doesn't have the same players or system around him if he played here.
I think if Stastny is interested in coming to Nashville that David Poile has to get out the pocketbook and pay the man. I don't think the Predators are in a position to pass on the opportunity that he will be the 70-80 point per game player he was several years ago. Having said that, I also think there is enough evidence to suggest that it is entirely possible that he won't. The question now becomes what term the contract is, and whether or not there is a no movement clause. If he fails to perform you could have question marks surrounding 2 players that are making 7+ million a piece in Rinne and Stastny. That would be horrendous, and the fact that both could be tied into long term contracts would make it devastating to a team with a budget as tight as the Preds.
So what do you think?