Paul Stastny’s been one of Winnipeg’s better acquisitions in recent memory. First brought on to push for a Cup several seasons ago, Stastny’s returned to try and get the Jets back to the dance. It wasn’t successful this year, but Paul still put on a pretty great performance in a variety of roles. He played just about anywhere he was asked, whether it was out wide at wing, or down the middle in his natural position. Despite Stastny’s age creeping up throughout the season, for veteran skater remained one of Winnipeg’s most effective forwards.
Among Winnipeg’s skaters, Stastny ranked in the top-5 for xGF% and CF%. I’m purposely excluding 1 or 2 names above him because those prospects only played a scant 2-3 games for the Jets. Filtering out names like Kovacevic and Chisholm, Stastny looks more like one of Winnipeg’s top-3 skaters. Not bad for a 36-year old nearing retirement. The counting stats weren’t anything to crow about, but Stastny still put up 45 points in 71 games. Considering just how much he was thrown about the line-up, that’s pretty impressive.
One thing I greatly appreciated about Stastny’s season was his candor off the ice. He wasn’t afraid to openly criticize the team, and even hinted at some brewing locker-room issues throughout the season. I’m not sure if Stastny will be back next year, but I’d gladly welcome him back on a cheap deal for a year. He’s still a great passer and creator even if his skating legs are slowing down. Given Stastny’s statements may have ruffled some feathers, though, I’m not holding my breath.