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Blues aren’t asking Stastny to be ‘Superman’

Jul 1, 2014, 9:47 PM EDT

Paul Stastny AP

No matter what they say, the St. Louis Blues obviously expect big things from Paul Stastny after signing him to a four-year, $28 million contract.

Still, the Blues would be wise to temper expectations regarding the American center after he experienced years of criticism while carrying a big contract on a bad team. It seems like the Blues brass are aiming to find that right balance, as the Belleville News-Democrat reports:

“We were not asking anyone to come in here with a cape on and be Superman,” Blues GM Doug Armstrong said. “We’re just looking for another strong piece to the puzzle that can keep us competitive. Both [Stastny and Jori Lehtera] can make their wingers better.”

“We haven’t had a true center iceman with top-end passing skills and I think both of those guys can find their wingers. Obviously I’m betting a lot of money that we’re more difficult to defend to today than we were two days ago.”

Stastny, 28, is now four seasons removed from his point-per-game peak. Expecting offensive fireworks on that level could be quite dangerous. People increasingly stand up for Stastny when you consider his ability to handle tough defensive assignments while generating about 50-60 points, which will surely score points with defensive-minded head coach Ken Hitchcock.

Does that mean that Stastny will probably be a little overpaid in the eyes of many, especially those who only look at goals, assists, points and other simple stats? Probably, but the Blues won’t complain if he can help them battle the many elite centers populating the often-brutal Western Conference.

If nothing else, he needs to be a significant upgrade over Derek Roy.

  1. skuba7 - Jul 1, 2014 at 9:57 PM

    If Stastny doesn’t top 70 points, Blues fans will be upset. He HAS to be a 1C (point a game pace) in order to be worth that $7M, period. Thankfully, the contract is for 4 years and not more, but St Louis is surely more difficult to play against as the team is more well-rounded skill-wise.

    • elvispocomo - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:55 PM

      A lot of teams are going to find after this free agency the dollar values they signed players to won’t match up with more traditional expected outputs. The Blues won’t be the only ones…

  2. hanspard - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    So….
    Steen – Stastny – Backes
    Tarasenko – Lehtara – Oshie
    Berglund – Sobotka – Schwartz
    Paajarvi – ? – Reaves

    Those are some dang good lines….

    • bluesrawesome - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      Lappiere is 4th line center they need t trade piaarvi no room.for him in the top 9. After what happened with Ryan.Miller and how bad bad tht turned out I had doubts about what future moves armstrong would make well he buried those with super strong draft and free agency.

    • paperlions - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:05 PM

      Tarasenko and Swartz are fantastic together, more likely that they are together with Lehtera than split up….in fact, if we are talking true #1 line, Stasny with Tarasenko and Schwartz would outscore any other combination.

    • bluesdroogie - Jul 3, 2014 at 12:38 PM

      lehtera centering Schwartz and tarasenko

      oshie with Berglund and sobotka as a center.

      we all know these lines will change but reports say this so far

  3. blomfeld - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    As I’ve always maintained, one is best served by avoiding ‘any’ sort of contact with the Blues come playoff time … I’m not sure what it is, but there’s just something ‘weird’ about them ?

    • avfanforlife - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:38 AM

      Enough with the thread-killing video’s already. Get a life!

  4. hanspard - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:12 PM

    Wow, Oshie goes from first line to third line according to Armstrong.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:38 AM

      Was that really decided? – perhaps Hitch my weigh in on that. One thng fo sure, T.J will be #1 in shootouts.

  5. endusersolutions2013 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:22 PM

    The Central was already arguably the best division before the recent round of signings. As I reviewed the signings, clearly the division as a whole just got stronger. Very good chance f having 5 teams in the playoffs again. Blues, Hawks, Wild, Stars all improved, Avs tredded water.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:18 AM

      Hmmm, 3 thumbs down, none bothered to try and refute. Lame.

      • jernster21 - Jul 2, 2014 at 1:00 AM

        Also, for what it’s worth: Stuart is only 34 years old. Orpik is about the same age for comparison.

    • jernster21 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:59 AM

      If the Avs did indeed tread water as you say, then they should be competing for a division title after winning it this past season. The Avs are deep down the middle as it, and between adding Briere and Iginla, and losing Stastny and Parenteau it’s pretty much a wash as far as point production goes. We added Stuart who waived his NTC to come to the Avs after basically arranging his move from Detroit to San Jose previous to that – that outta say something in my opinion. He’s a quality defender and I’m guessing Holland is kicking himself after seeing that trade when out of desperation his only move was to resign Quincey at 4.25mm per year. We replaced what we got rid of while bringing in guys that bring intangibles that the guys who are no longer on the team didn’t have. Veteren presence/leadership, playoff experience, grit and physicality and Stuart has won a Cup. We also made several moves to address depth in the farm. So if at worst we treaded water…I’m ok with that because in my opinion we replaced what we lost for the better, and addressed a gap in the defense which can only be seen as a positive.

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