Tuesday, October 29, 2013

2014 NHL Free Agents - Paul Stastny

Paul Stastny, the second round draft selection of the Colorado Avalanche in the 2005 NHL entry draft, is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2013-14 NHL season.  The centerman is finishing up a five-year deal carrying a cap hit of $6.6 million annually.

Stastny has been a solid offensive producer for the Avalanche.  He regularly hovers around 0.75 point per game, even peaking above a point-per-game earlier in his NHL career.  Given those impressive statistics however, it is certainly not a fait d'accompli that he will remain with Colorado beyond this season.

There has been some speculation that Stastny would be traded before the end of the current season.  The Avalanche have a glut of talent at center, with young Matt Duchene and recent number one overall draft pick Nathan MacKinnon, which is not necessarily a bad problem to have.  

Outlook
The Avs have gotten off to a hot start, one that not many would have predicted, and Stastny has been key to the team's performance.   That being said, the Avalanche will most likely not sign him at a salary comparable to his current rate.  If he want to stay in Colorado, his annual salary will need to come down from it's current level.  Otherwise, if Colorado gets the sense that he is looking for more than his current $6.6 million per year, they will likely trade him or let him hit the open market after the season.  

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