Midseason Grade: A-
Final Grade: B
Joined Team: Drafted in the 2nd round of the 2005 draft, signed July 24th, 2006.
MHH Nicknames: SoS
- 1st (41)
- 2nd (4)
- C (45)
- Smyth (37)
- Wolski (4)
- Hejduk (3)
- Arnason (1)
- Hejduk (32)
- Svatos (11)
- Jones (1)
- Stewart (1)
- TOT 21:14 (5th)
- EV 14:50 (9th)
- PK 2:18 (5th)
- PP 4:05 (4th)
*Rank is based on total minutes, not average per game.
Best Month: December (14points in 11 games)
Career Highlights: With just 45 games played due to injuries, Stastny set career lows in basically every category.
Next fall, he should become the 3rd player from the 2005 draft to notch his 200th NHL point (following Sidney Crosby and Anze Kopitar)
Report: The biggest news, of course, is that Stastny missed 26 games with a broken arm and then 11 more at the end of the year due to a broken foot. But even without the injuries, Stastny seemed just a little...off.
Okay, let's get the man-crush stuff out of the way first. SoS is an excellent two-way forward. He doesn't always appear to be gushing with talent but he simply finds ways to get on the scoreboard. He's already exhibiting leadership skills, donning the "A" off and on this year, and will presumably be a captain someday (no need to hurry, though). After struggling with faceoffs in his rookie year, Stastny has put up back-to-back 51% seasons. I could probably go on here, but I don't think I need to pile on. He's good.
There is some cause for concern, however. There were times that Stats just didn't seem himself this year. Even though his point totals were only down slightly (.80 ppg vs .96 in his career), it felt like Stastny wasn't contributing as much. While he never really had a prolonged scoring slump, there weren't any of the big hot streaks as he's had in the past.
Allow me to offer a theory. Through October of 2008, Stastny's lowest ppg rate in any month was .62 (his 3rd month in the NHL). That's a pretty amazing show of consistency, as even that rate extends out to a 50 point season. And it was usually better than that - in 9 of his first 15 months in the NHL he scored more than a point per game. Then, Stastny signed that big, big contract. You probably know what's coming here. His monthly ppg rate's since signing the deal: .38, 1.27, .33 and .5; his three worst months have come since the extension. For the record, he scored 1.02 points per game before the extension and .71 after - a rather sizeable drop.
Do I think Stastny is coasting now that he has become filthy rich? No. I suspect the stress of the negotations and the pressure to meet the expectations of this big contract are the real culprit (and certainly the injury didn't help). I certainly hope that is the case, because otherwise we fans are going to be in for a world of hurt.
Fun Fact: In his career, Stastny has 37 points (10 goals, 27 assists) in 32 games in the month of October.
The Paul Stastny Drinking Game: Drink for every dollar earned by Stastny next year Drunk potential: Yikes
What I Said Last Year: "Stastny is signed through the end of the upcoming season. However, the Avalanche will be giving him a very fat extension this summer. This is not open for debate."
2008 Salary (and Cap Number): $710K ($850K)
2009-2010 Status: SOS starts year one of his five-year, $6.6 million-per-season deal.
Outlook for 2009: Let's say that the drop in scoring and decline in overall play was a fluke. SoS strikes me as a rather chill individual and not a guy who is going to be overwhelmed by pressure. I expect a big rebound from Stastny - a 75-point season with solid defense to boot should go a good start on the road to getting this team back on track. Just go easy on the shot-blocking, though, okay?
Next Up: Ben Guite