With the trade deadline rapidly approaching, one name that continues to be floated as a trade possibility is that of Paul Stastny. Since O'Reilly started earning his character bucks and Duchene continues to have a strong bounce-back year, Stastny has been relegated to the third best center on the Avs roster. This, combined with the fact that he has only one year left at $6.6 million on his contract, makes him a possible trade target.
In light of this, the question that should be asked is: what is Stastny worth? At the age of 27, and with a career points per game average of 0.86, Stastny may be able to bring back some useful assets. However, in order to determine exactly how much Stastny is worth, I decided to look for comparable trades made over the last 5 seasons. Primarily, this examination involved looking at the player's age and their point per game average at the time they were traded.
I identified eight comparable trades (age, cap hit/years left, PPG):
- Jeff Carter (27 years old, 5.27 million/10 years, 0.74 PPG) for Jack Johnson & 1st round draft selection)
- Jeff Carter (again!) (27, 5.27/11, 0.74 PPG) for Jakub Voracek, 1st & 3rd round picks
- Mike Cammalleri (29, 6.00/2, 0.76) with Karri Ramo and a 5th rounder for Rene Bourque, Patrick Holland & a 2nd round pick
- Mike Cammalleri (again!) (27, 3.35/1, 0.72 PPG) with a 2nd round pick for 1st & 2nd round picks
- Martin Havlat (29, 5.00/4, 0.82 PPG) for Dany Heatley
- Mike Richards (26, 5.75/9, 0.77 PPG) and Rob Bordson for Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds & a 2nd round pick.
- Scott Gomez (29, 7.357/5, 0.82 PPG) with Tom Pyatt and Michael Busto for Chris Higgins, Doug Janik, Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko.
- Alex Tanguay (27, 5.25/1, 0.89 PPG) with a 5th round pick for 1st & 2nd round picks.
So what does this all tell us? Firstly, that regardless of the term left on the contract, a 1st round pick, a blue chip prospect (McDonagh, Voracek, Bourque and to a lesser extent Brayden Schenn) or a comparable player (Heatley) should be the start point of a trade. Looking at the three players on expiring contracts (Tanguay and Cammalleri x 2), as each time a 2nd rounder was received as well, betting on this would be sensible as well. Based on Sherman's tenure, it is also possible that you could see some undrafted player with lots of "character" thrown into the deal.
While picking up a player like McDonagh for Stastny may be nice, the question becomes: is it worth trading Stastny at all? Stastny's current value cannot be as high as his career long PPG average - as it has been decreasing for the last 3 years, reaching a career low of 0.61 PPG this year. Similarly, Stastny has been thrown to the wolves this year - facing top competition and starting in the defensive zone just over 60% of the time. Yet, despite this, Stastny is the Avs third leading scorer, has the best Corsi on the team when the quality of the opposition is taken into account. Also, his very, very low PDO of 949 powered by the horrendous .894 SV% when Stastny is on the ice suggests that his puck luck should be due to improve. Simply put, Stastny is taking on the top competition and more often than not pushing the puck in the right direction.
So coming back to the initial question: what is Stastny worth? We can't know for sure. But for me, I can only hope that it is more than the Avs are willing to part with.