Paul Stastny is widely regarded as the best veteran forward available in this summer’s free agency pool. That’s more a sign that the pool is shallow than that Stastny is great. That didn’t stop the St. Louis Blues from paying a steep price — $28 million over four years — for what amounts to the best amongst a bunch of so-so options.
St. Louis Blues fans that remember Paul’s dad, Peter Stastny, may be tempted to get overly excited. Don’t. Paul Stastny isn’t his dad, and isn’t likely to ever put up 40+ goal seasons like the old man did. Others who watched him play on the U.S. olympic team alongside T.J. Oshie will likewise likely get more excited than they should.
“But,” some St. Louis Blues fan who watched the playoffs closely might say, “Paul Stastny proved he was worth the $28M in the playoffs this year.”
This may be the best argument for Paul Stastny’s value to the St. Louis Blues. The Blues could put a trademark on “close, but no cigar” and Stastny did indeed have a good playoff run with the Avs, chalking up 10 points (5 goals, 5 assists) in seven games in Colorado’s playoff run.
Don’t get too excited just yet, St. Louis Blues fans. Paul Stastny will be a solid contributor – as he has been year after year for the Colorado Avs – and he may even help a little in the playoffs, but it’s highly unlikely that Stastny is the answer to year after year of disappointed Stanley Cup dreams.
Consider the numbers:
Paul Stastny has never scored 30 goals. He scored 28 goals in his best scoring season, but that was way back in 2006-2007, during his rookie season.
Paul Stastny was 70 to 80 point scorer early in his career, but he isn’t anymore. He scored 60 points last season, showing that his production is headed south. It’s unlikely that he’ll see a sudden uptick when surrounded by the largely underachieving forwards playing in St. Louis Blues jerseys, especially as he approaches 30.
Here’s the deal, St. Louis Blues fans: You got a decent – not great, but certainly better than the rest of what was available – center iceman who can play both sides of the puck. He’ll improve your team. He just won’t improve it enough to put the St. Louis Blues in the same atmosphere as the Chicago Blackhawks or Los Angeles Kings. Sorry, unless St. Louis can add some serious talent around him, Paul Stastny will not bring the Stanley Cup to Missouri.