Sep 13, 2013, 2:20 PM EDT
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.”
- Eller, Habs agree to four-year, $14 million contract 8
- Cory Sarich hospitalized following cycling accident, expects ‘full recovery’ 5
- Stamkos shrugs off talk of LeBron-like homecoming to Toronto in 2016 26
- Avs and O’Reilly agree on two-year deal, but questions remain 42
- Rangers and Kreider avoid arbitration, agree on two-year deal 38
- Zuccarello takes Rangers’ one year, $3.5M deal 42
- Advancement? Leafs sign Booth for one year, $1.1M 25
- Leafs hire 28-year-old stats advocate as assistant GM 30
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 69
- Stars, Roussel agree on four-year, $8 million deal 3
- Babcock fires back over allegations that free agents avoid him (77)
- NBC Sports to air over 100 NHL regular-season games in 2014-15 (69)
- Vanek connected to federal gambling investigation (61)
- Lucic regrets handshake-line actions, but isn’t apologizing (58)
- Report: O’Reilly wants $6.7M deal, Avs counter at $5.5M (58)