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09-11-2013, 01:29 PM
Join Date: Aug 2011
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Originally Posted by PIM View Post
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.
This is a terrific post, right on the money as it relates to Stepan. The problem a lot of fans of any team have is looking at their own players objectively enough in determining their realistic upside.
That being said, Stepan has carved out a really nice start to his career in 3 years but I wouldn't read too much into his terrific production in a strike shortened 48 game season last year by declaring him a legitimate 1st line center capable of producing 75-80 point seasons going forward.

As far as I'm concerned, the one thing the management of the Rangers does right is offer bridge deals to players who have no arbitration rights. Stepan needs to come to his senses, accept a 2 year deal and go about the business of proving that last year's numbers weren't an aberration and that he can be the guy going forward.

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