Is Derek Stepan the number 1 priority this summer?
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05-28-2013, 03:23 PM
Join Date: Mar 2007
Not priority one, but he's a big piece.
I was never convinced he was a #1 center, but this season, he played at the level of a legitimate #1 center. On pace for 30 goals / 75 points while playing stellar defense.
My feeling is, however, he is more along the lines of a solid 2nd line center than a 1st line center. I think he overachieved this season, and I question his ability to sustain that in the future.
Just as a question Brassard's ability to be a PT/GM player. I think Brassard is more along the lines of a 2nd line center / 3rd line center on a deep team.
McDonagh is the more valuable piece. I view McDonagh as a legitimate first pairing defense man and someone you can build your defensive core around. I think McDonagh could be a great all around defense man capable of putting up 50 points if Tortorella didn't use him in strictly a shut down role. They need to expand his arsenal in NY for him to reach his true potential. And because I think that of McDonagh, I'd make him the #1 priority in the off season.
Stepan and McDonagh are the top priorities. Both are a RFA, so Sather has the leverage in this example (unless they get an offer sheet, which I can definitely see happening on McDonagh).
$3.75 million / year for McDonagh (would put him in line with Girardi and Staal's salary) and $3.5-$4 million / year for Stepan (would put him in line with the raise that Dubinsky and Callahan got). Sign McDonagh to $4+ million a year if you can acquire him long term.
Than sign Hagelin at $2.5 million / year.
Let Clowe walk. He won't be worth the $4-5 million it will take to sign him.
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