Colorado Avalanche: Is Paul Stastny a Viable Free Agency Option?

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 11: Paul Stastny #26 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on April 11, 2014 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky Widner/Getty Images)
SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 11: Paul Stastny #26 of the Colorado Avalanche skates against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on April 11, 2014 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky Widner/Getty Images) /

The Colorado Avalanche need secondary scoring. Center Paul Stastny provided that once upon a time. Should the team pursue him in free agency?

The Colorado Avalanche and center Paul Stastny parted ways at the conclusion of the golden Why Not Us season — 2013-14. Stastny left in free agency.

Well, as we all know — because general managers, players, and pundits keep telling us — hockey is a business. And there’s no tender feelings in business. So, as the Avalanche attempt to solve their secondary scoring issue, could they look to an old buddy, Paul Stastny?

Colorado Avalanche History with Paul Stastny

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The Colorado Avalanche drafted Paul Stastny 44th-overall in 2005. Stastny had already spent a year playing for the nearby Denver Pioneers, and he played another season before going pro with the Avs.

Stastny played in Colorado from the 2006-07 season to 2013-14. At that time, he came to the end of a five-year contract that saw him making $6.6 million annually. An unrestricted free agent the summer of 2014, he signed a four-year contract with the St. Louis Blues with an AAV of $7 million.

Stastny wore the A for alternate for a lot of the years he was here. However, as the 2014 trade deadline loomed, the Avalanche were considering flipping Paul for whatever they could get for him because they had not intention of paying him the reported $7 million he wanted (and eventually got).

Stastny promised a “hometown discount” if the Avs held on to him through the season and playoff run. Colorado Avalanche GM Joe Sakic, then in his rookie year at the helm, may have feared changing the chemistry of the team, too. Anyway, they didn’t trade him, and Paul walked anyway.

Side note: Paul’s father, Peter Stastny, played for the Quebec Nordiques

Paul Stastny Stats

Position: Center
Age: 32

Paul Stastny has talent. In 824 games, he’s recorded 220 and 426 assists for 646 points. He played 538 of those games with Colorado, earning 458 points (160 goals, 298 assists) during that time period.

You may notice, he did most of his scoring with Colorado. Indeed, with the Avalanche, he had six 20+ goal seasons — he didn’t match that outside of Colorado. He had a 60-point season and three 70+-point seasons with the Avs — the best he managed outside of Colorado was 53 points last season.

He’s boasted an incredible shooting percentage, averaging 12.5%. And his faceoff percentage is 53.4%, which is very nice indeed.

Something you may already know — Paul Stastny breaks easily. He’s only played the entire year twice (last year was one of those years), and 81 games another time.

One more thing about Paul Stastny — he shines in the post-season. In 72 playoff games, he’s amassed 50 points (20 goals, 30 assists). In the run with the Winnipeg Jets — St. Louis traded him there at deadline — he recorded 15 points (6 goals, 9 assists) in 17 games.

Should the Colorado Avalanche Consider Paul Stastny 2.0?

I liked “Stazz” when he was with the Avalanche, if only partially because he held such chemistry with linemate Matt Duchene. However, I also appreciated that he just quietly got the job done — he wasn’t as flashy as, say, Dutchy or some of the other players. He was also rumored to be the go-to guy as then-young captain Gabriel Landeskog grew into his leadership.

I liked Stazz, until he dropped the Colorado Avalanche like a hot potato in pursuit of riches. Yes, I understood he had the right and maybe even the duty. But he had promised the hometown discount. And he never made a proper goodbye to the only team he’d known up to that point.

Now? My shallow anger has fizzled. I wish him well enough, but I mostly don’t have a strong opinion about him.

Except for this — he’s in his 30s and appears to be in decline. What’s more, while he should expect another $7 million annually, he also probably won’t drop to, say, $2 million either. All the numbers in between seem like a lot to pay an aging center.

It would be great to have Stastny’s skill set on the team again. But what I really want is 27-year-old Stastny back, the player who never wowed us but who put up his best year with 60 points (25 goals, 35 assists). But, if we’re going into never-never land, then we might as well wish for 22-year-old Peter Forsberg back — that was his career season of 116 points.

Free Agency Profiles:

According to St. Louis Blues reporter Andy Strickland, Colorado is right up there for Paul Stastny as a coveted destination. So is his current team, the Winnipeg Jets.

Sorry, Stazz, unless you take a serious hometown discount, you make more sense for a team other than the Colorado Avalanche.