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02-04-2013, 11:44 AM
Join Date: Jul 2010
Originally Posted by
This "Stepan is a 3rd line center on a Championship team" talking point keeps getting batted around, yet I still haven't heard one team that has a 3rd line center better than Stepan. Does that mean the Stanley Cup won't be awarded this season?
I don't think it's necessary for Stepan to be a third line center, but I think there is some merit to question whether or not he is a good enough second line center for a team of our ambitions. Hopefully he keeps developing and we no longer have to have this discussion though.
In regards to your question, Stepan would without a doubt be one of the premier third line centers in the league. In my opinion you could make arguments for Rich Peverley (.73 ppg last year) and Ryan O'Reilly (outscored Stepan while playing in a shutdown role, leading the league in takeaways and being one of the better defensive forwards in the league despite playing in a poor team). It can be hard to compare 3rd liners to 2nd liners because Stepan gets more playing time in offensive situations (power play, offensive zone starts) and 3rd liners stats suffer a bit because they play a defensive role. Whatever the case though Stepan would be one of the premier 3rd liners in the league.
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