I think of Stepan as more of a 25-30 goal 40-50 assist player who excels in both ends on the ice. Similar to Richards in that much of his offensive game comes from being in the right place and having excellent vision, but he's definitely a more well-rounded player.
He also seems to do a better job around the net than Richards. He'll score more garbage goals.
Isn't Brassard, technically, our top line center at the moment?
And if Richards was actually playing half as well as he was last year's playoffs we'd actually have 3 centers better than Boyle at this point. Which isn't a knock on Boyle, he has played very well, just that he should be the 4th best center on this team.
I think we more have a 1A and 1B line setup than anything.
Personally, I think its more of a 2A/2B until further notice. Im more convinced Stepan can maybe reach #1C status as soon as next season, but Im not sold yet. And Im definitely not sold that we have anywhere near the elite talent down the middle that true contenders for the cup have.
I've never seen a guy kill an attack like this guy does. Not only are his legs gone, but I think his vision has disappeared. That Hail Mary pass to the nobody last night was god-awful.
I actually screamed so loud at the bar when that happened it made the girl I was with jump. haha
For a bit I was on the fence regarding a buyout this offseason. I'm no longer on the fence; it's become imperative that we buy him out. I don't forsesee some miraculous reimurgance of his skills, but only further decline.
I have seen declines with NFL running backs like this but never in hockey. I mean a frontline player usually follows a discernible decline over a couple of seasons. If this is his current trajectory, next season he will be a solid center in a Mens C- league.