With Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny playing in the final year of a five-year deal that paid him $33 million, it may make sense for the Avalanche to trade him away. But with Colorado streaking and racing up the Central division standings, it may actually make more sense to talk contract extension.
For the Avalanche, signing Stasny to a new deal would bolster an already solid core of young talent. That group includes rookie sensation — and Calder Trophy front-runner — Nathan MacKinnon, captain Gabriel Landeskog and Matt Duchene. McKinnon recently tied Wayne Gretzky for consecutive games with a point at age 18. Landeskog and Duchene figure to be around for some time, so where does that leave Stastny? Probably on the outside looking in.
The Avs’ front office has fielded plenty of calls about Stastny, and he will remain in the trade machine up until Wednesday’s deadline. The Columbus Blue Jackets were rumored to be most interested in a deal, but nothing has materialized yet. Stastny himself has gone on record in saying he would ‘absolutely’ give the Avalanche a ‘steep hometown discount’ in any new deal. Those contract talks began Tuesday night and could continue into Wednesday morning.
The outcome of those talks will definitely answer the question of whether the Avs will stick with their core or get some players back in return for an expiring contract.
Stastny has played in 55 this season, adding 19 goals. Another goal would give Stastny his sixth season in which he’s scored 20 goals or more out of the last seven. He will likely add another soon, but it may come in a new uniform. With multiple teams calling, the Avalanche don’t have much time to weigh options. That could weigh on the front office’s decision as well.
The easy choice is the logical one here and that’s shelling out the dough to keep the ball rolling. Under rookie head coach Patrick Roy, the Avs are in the middle of a major turnaround that will likely end with Colorado’s first playoff berth since 2010.