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Avs’ Stastny: ‘I’m way better than I was my first couple years’

Sep 13, 2013, 2:20 PM EDT

Paul Stastny Getty Images

Though his production has tailed off recently, Paul Stastny insists he’s a superior player now to when he broke into the league six seasons ago.

“I think I’m way better than I was my first couple years,” Stastny told the Denver Post. “Whether I’ve played with different guys or different systems, the numbers don’t show it, but I feel better, that’s the most important thing.”

That’s an interesting take, especially when you consider the numbers.

Stastny debuted at 21 and had a tremendous rookie campaign, scoring 78 points in 82 games while finishing as the runner-up to Evgeni Malkin for the ’07 Calder Trophy.

The next year, no sophomore slump. Stastny put up 71 points in just 66 games despite missing extensive time with appendicitis and a groin injury.

That earned him a massive five-year, $33 million extension from the Avs (a deal that expires this season.)

A broken arm and foot injury derailed his 2008-09 campaign — he only played 45 games, scoring 36 points — but Stastny bounced back in 2009-10, scoring a career-high 79 points as the Avs made a surprising playoff appearance.

From there, it’s been a rough ride.

Stastny’s contract — which carries a hefty $6.6 million cap hit annually — has made him a constant target for trade rumors, as has his declining production.

His points-per-game average has dropped in each of the last three years, from 0.77 in 2010-11 to 0.67 in 2011-12 to 0.60 last season.

Despite this, Stastny insists he’s a superior player today.

“Sometimes you’ve just got to get back to believing in yourself,” he told the Post. “I expect to be a point-a-game player when I’m playing with confidence.”

  1. jernster21 - Sep 13, 2013 at 3:11 PM

    Stastny is a pass first player who is still normally good for 20 goals a season, he just does it quietly. The past few years he hasn’t really been paired up with players who have been productive offensively – ie: David Jones/Milan Hejduk, etc. if anything, that’s the reason for the decline. Stastny can’t be the best offensive player on a line. This year should be pretty interesting – Stastny will be paired up with Landeskog, a goal scorer, and Tanguay who is another play maker. Those three guys can bring out the best in each others game. Not to mention, Stastny is a pretty good two way center who is good in the face off circle.

    • avfanforlife - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:02 PM

      So far, Roy’s line combos look amazing. Curious if the chemistry will work the way it is set up now, or how they might change up a month or so in. Example: If Stastny and MacKinnon should swap places (2nd/3rd line) one game, Mac would have Tanguay and Landy as wingers and Stats paired w McGinn and Downie could be a bit lethal! Can’t wait to see Mac with Parenteau once in a while too. Drop the puck already!!!

  2. lostpuppysyndrome - Sep 13, 2013 at 3:12 PM

    So glad you’re “feeling better,” Paul. Too bad there’s no “feeling better” stat in my fantasy hockey league.

  3. polegojim - Sep 13, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    Then prove it Paul.

    79 pts 2010
    57 in 2011
    53 in 2012
    48 (on track) in 2013

    -7 with 15 assists and the above numbers say otherwise.

    And sorry… the most important thing ISN’T ‘feeling better’… it’s PLAYING better.

    • avfanforlife - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:08 PM

      You forget that this is no longer a Sacco team. The AV’s are all going to have new life this season playing for Roy, Sakic, and Foote. Everyone’s numbers will be heading up this year because I seriously doubt you’ll find any players not giving 110% with this crew behind the bench. Just sayin!

      • polegojim - Sep 13, 2013 at 11:11 PM

        Yes… Avs fans EVERYONE can be glad about that… but I wouldn’t let Paul off the hook.

        I’d agree that everyone was playing ‘uninspired’ hockey.

        Roy will get the best from them.

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