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09-11-2013, 12:38 AM
  #680
PIM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trxjw View Post
It's tough because even if the team isn't ready to compete --which obviously the org thinks it is -- Stepan is the kind of young talent you want to build your team around.
Well to an extent, sure. He's not Stamkos, he's not Tavares, he's not Crosby, and although it's a bit early to hedge bets, I'd say he's not McDavid either. I am a Stepan fan, so don't take this the wrong way, but a player of his caliber is not the type of guy you build a team around. He's solid defensively and he makes smart plays, but he doesn't make an abundance of brilliant plays like those truly elite talents do. His skating and lack of toughness is a concern, as it is with Tavares, but Step also doesn't have JT's ridiculous combination of hockey IQ and execution.

I think Step's a great player, but when or if it came down to a kid that's called the next Crosby in McDavid and has the results to back it up to this point, it's a no brainer. It's also not like Stepan is surrounded by elite talent either- even if we had that ace, the team as-is really just doesn't have the signs of a winner. In 11-12, we worked and hussled our way to first place and the ECF's because of team heart and character, not talent, or anything close to what a guy like Stepan could offer even in the future.

Management obviously wants to go in a different direction now, since they picked Rick Nash over Duby and Prust, and that's fine. But in that kind of system, Stepan is not going to be a guy that brings us to the promised land, at least without a serious injection of elite talent, imo, some of which could make Stepan himself expendable. Sorry for the rant to anyone who read this far.

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