By PowerPlayCJ @powerplaywithcj on June 9, 2014
Paul Stastny of the Colorado Avalanche will be one of if not the most sought after free agent in the NHL this summer. The U.S. Olympian will have plenty of suitors and could really change the culture of a franchise. The following five teams are the best and most likely fits for the University of Denver product.
The Sabres have been atrocious the last few years, but that is changing. The Sabres have young talent and plethora of draft picks that will have the team back on the track to contention soon. That coupled with plenty of cap room and an owner who loves to spend money makes this at the very least a possibility.
The Panthers have some amazing young forwards and could use a skilled veteran pivot to help them along. Stastny as the Panthers' first line center would allow teenager Aleksander Barkov to season on the second line. The Panthers have plenty of cap room they have pledged to use and bringing in a player like Stastny would be a wise way to spend it.
New coach Peter Laviolette is looking to bring a new culture to the Music City, and an offensive wizard like Stastny fits right in. The two have experience with each other from Team USA and would work well. The only thing holding this opportunity back would be Nashville’s historically tight budget. If Dave Poile decides to pony up the money look for Nashville to be back to contending in the Western Conference.
The Blues have everything but an elite No. 1 center, and Stastny can be that guy to help make the team even better. Given how elite the team has already become, Stastny might be willing to take less money to sign with the Blues. Having his U.S. Olympic teammates David Backes, T.J. Oshie and Kevin Shattenkirk makes it an even easier sell for the Blues front office.
He’s been playing hockey in Denver since college and has given hints he’d like to stay. Given the way the team has improved under Patrick Roy and their salary cap room, why would he want to leave? With players like Matt Duchene, Nathan MacKinnon and Gabriel Landeskog this team plans to continue to get better. Keeping Stastny helps make those plans a reality.
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