Thread: Derek Stepan
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01-26-2013, 09:19 AM
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And more....after thinking about my post.

I obviously don't know DS personally....don't know what motivates or drives him. All I can do is evaluate him on what I see on the ice and impressions I get of him in interviews and what others who do know him say about him.

Here is my main concern and its not his skill set or average skating:

I thought, based on his captaincy of the US Junior team when they won gold that we were getting a player with leadership skills who would grow into a future leader of the team. Who one day down the road could wear an "A" or even the "C." I also realize that he is still young and there is certainly a lot of veteran leadership on the team and he needs to pay his dues. But I envisioned him as one of the leaders of our young core who would, at some point, begin to take ownership of the team.

What I question now, again based on only a limited sample and recognizing I could be totally and absolutely wrong, is does he have that inner engine, that compete level, that will allow him to rise above his skills and become a really fine NHL player? It is that inner engine, that drive, that motivation, that willingness to put in the extra time that separates the marginal from the average, the average from the good, the good from the great.

The lack of growth I see from DS, again recognizing that he is still very young and it only has been 2+ years, that is my major concern. Does he have that inner engine that will make him a superb, 20 G 40 A second line center that can sometimes move up to the first line, or have we seen the best of him and he will always be what he is now: an adequate 2nd line center, who when he reaches his late 20s and his skating loses a step, will slowly disappear from the league.

I'm still hoping that he has, or finds that extra inner gear.

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