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MacKinnon on Stastny: ‘We need him, plain and simple’

Jun 24, 2014, 7:05 PM EST

Paul Stastny, Nathan MacKinnon AP

There’s more than a little uncertainty surrounding the Colorado Avalanche’s chances of bringing back pending unrestricted free agent Paul Stastny. His (current?) teammate Nathan MacKinnon made one thing clear to the Denver Post, though: he really wants his linemate back next season.

“I just don’t want it to happen. I don’t want Pauly to go,” MacKinnon said. “He was a huge part of our team. He took all the biggest faceoffs, probably got to see the other teams’ top lines all season and still had 60 points in (71) games. He’s definitely one of our top players and we need him, plain and simple.

MacKinnon might sound a little naive there – it fits, really, since he’s a lock to win the 2014 Calder Trophy tonight – yet maybe the 18-year-old is just being optimistic.

“I’m young, but I realize it’s a business,” MacKinnon said. “You can’t play forever, and you have to be fair. He’s going to be fair to the Avalanche and the Avalanche are going to be fair to him. In my head, it’s just a matter of time before it gets done, and hopefully it can.”

OK, maybe he’s being naive.

Still, it’s easy to see why the budding star wants Stastny to stick around. The 28-year-old center isn’t as flashy as MacKinnon, yet he’s a versatile player who complimented the soon-to-be-sophomore quite well alongside fellow young forward Gabriel Landeskog.

Of course, there could be a silver lining to Stastny leaving town for MacKinnon, especially if Ryan O’Reilly doesn’t come back either. MacKinnon probably hopes to slide into a prominent spot as a center in Colorado, a change that would certainly be more likely if two strong pivots headed out the door.

Ultimately, there are advantages and disadvantages to the Avalanche taking care of business with Stastny. “Keeping MacKinnon happy” adds serious incentive to get something done, though.

  1. welch3319 - Jun 24, 2014 at 7:19 PM

    You talk like Stast and RoR are gone already. One thing is … we have control over RoR for the next 2 years at the least. On Stast he has all the right to listen to offers, that doesn’t mean he won’t sign with Avs. Just love how ppl bash the Avs player all season but once they come available, everyone starts kissing ass.

  2. pj608 - Jun 25, 2014 at 1:07 AM

    I think RoR will leave and Stastny will stay. They are both great players and very identical in their play style. I dont know why but that is just my gut saying thats the way it will go. They definitely need 1 or the other though. Can’t lose both.

    • xx1111 - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:09 PM

      Will ROR cant leave unless we LET HIM but even they let he we will get compensation.

      • xx1111 - Jun 25, 2014 at 6:11 PM

        Wow horrible English there..

        ROR cant leave unless we LET him leave. And even then, IF he signs we will match the offer sheet and trade him after a 1 year or keep him, or decline on matching and taking picks.

  3. guitarisgood4u - Jun 25, 2014 at 11:55 AM

    And thus, as a Wild fan, I hope Stastny goes to the east coast to chase a Winter Classic.

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