Derek Stepan spent most of Sunday’s game against the New Jersey Devils on Hat Trick Watch. It has been one calendar month since Paul Stastny had a negative game for the Carolina Hurricanes.
Stasny and Stepan combined have skated in 95% of the 37 games for Carolina. However, the much-anticipated debut of Max Pacioretty will add yet another offensive powerhouse to the dearth of scoring machines already suiting up in Raleigh, likely leaving both Stastny and Stepan without a spot on the roster.
It is possible the Canes can send the veterans to Chicago for a much needed boost in quality ice time for both. Still the sting of not seeing these two will be real.
It seems a bit unfortunate but logical that Paul Stastny will be hitting the ice for another team by February.
Stastny has produced 2 points, and averaged 18.8 shifts over his last five. For the season, Stastny has 9 points and not played fewer than 10 shifts in 36 games with the Canes. He is also has the third highest Face Off Percentage at 58.68%.
Solid numbers for a veteran with over 1,100 career starts, but likely not enough to keep him in Raleigh consistently.
Derek Stepan has 4 goals (tied with Brent Burns for 9th on the team) and a 52.88% FOP. But Stepan ranks above only Jalen Chatfield, Dylan Coghlan, and Ondrej Kase for the fewest points on the season with 6.
Though Stepan has consistently appeared in games (34 of 37), his ice time and shift numbers have been hit or miss.
Over his last 6 games, he has skated more than 10 minutes only 3 times. Without the ice time, generating enough offense to warrant his spot on the bench has been a struggle for the 32 year old.
Max Pacioretty’s return will certainly mean roster moves and line changes. There simply is not enough room.
What Carolina decides to do with veterans Paul Statsny and Derek Stepan remains unclear.
Certainly, the AHL Chicago Wolves could use some veteran presence and NHL quality players. Perhaps we see one of these two on a line with Jack Drury.
Wherever they end up, both Statsny and Stepan can be counted on for solid play and decent numbers.