Regardless of what one may think of the Colorado Avalanche and what they will or will not achieve this season, there’s little doubt that they do possess one of the better groups of young offensive forwards in the game. Their defense and goaltending each currently represent a dumpster fire, but their offense is something to write home about.
In the mix with those young forwards is Paul Stastny. While he’s not exactly among the younger guys in this group, he’s still only 27 and heading into the prime of his career. He’s also heading into the final year of his deal with the Avalanche, and will hit the market as an unrestricted free agent next summer.
Stastny is coming off of a pretty disappointing season, but with a shortened season due to the lockout and an absolutely putrid Avalanche team around him, a lack of production is understandable to a certain extent. He finished the year with only 24 points in 40 games.
Despite the fact that he came up with low totals in 2013, and that his production has declined since his 79 point campaign back in 2009-10, Stastny still possesses the skill set that will make him a coveted player on the free agent market next summer. Whether he’ll see that large of a payday, however, remains to be seen.
Stastny has the tools to be a no. 1 center in this league. He’s a capable two-way player, supremely talented on offense and above average in the faceoff circle. Even in a year in which he only reaches 50 or so points, he could still see a long-term deal on the open market.
Getting a raise off of his current salary, however, is the real question. He’s already carrying a $6.6 million cap hit. Teams aren’t going to want to shell out much more than $7 million for him, unless he comes up with something similar to what he did back in 2009.
If he hits the market next summer, Stastny will be a very attractive commodity as a free agent. He’ll almost certainly get a long term deal from someone, and it’ll be a lucrative one. A significant raise is unlikely at this point, however, given his already high salary figure.