I am rather ticked off. Ok, that's an understatment, I'm UBER TICKED! This make NO sense? Why trade the kid who was starting to gain his confidence and who looked so good by Bumps and Perron!?!?! WHY!?!!
I guess injuries to our Cs percipitated this move. I think it is possible to coach Carlo into playing a more positional game if playing the body gets him so injured, we just pair him with McKee, Polak and Brewer.
They could be looking for some chemistry between countrymen (Steen and Berglund) although that might be a bit of a stretch. I have always liked Steen and it seemed (to me from what I have been reading this year) is that Steen was trying to take on more of a leadership role with the team though that could also be misconstrued as spouting off to the media. In TO that is a big deal, not as much in St. Louis.
I don't like what this trade says to the fans right now, to most people it is apparently St. Louis is trading a player who is playing well right now for potential that Steen and Carlo are going to turn their careers around and show something more. The Blues have the higher upside for potential but it is a risky trade for a team who is struggling with offense right now.
Alex Steen: Having a sub-par season so far. Good locker room guy, two-way player with a solid all around skillset. People tend to be all over the map in regards to his offensive potential. When he first broke into the league with an 18 goal, 45 point rookie campaign, he looked very dangerous and it was believed that he would one day be the PPG captain of the Leafs. It hasn't worked out that way, but I think he will settle in as at least a 50-60 point two-way centre. When you guys watch him, you'll see that the talent is obviously there, but barring his rookie season, hasn't really put up high offensive numbers at any point during his hockey career.
Carlo Colaiacovo: Was once considered to be one of the league's top young talents. He was selected in the mid 1st round by Toronto and at the time was expected to be a two-way defenseman with excellent physicality. His coming out party was a little later on when he stood out at the World Juniors by leading all of Team Canada in scoring, and that really elevated his status as a prospect. In his brief time in Toronto, there's been plenty of flashes of his true potential as evidenced by some bonecrushing hits posted earlier in this thread. He's struggled with injuries his entire career, even dating back to his days with Erie, but if healthy, he's got #2 or #3 D-man potential.
Steen has very good deking ability and has above average skating ability. He has a lot of hockey sense and plays a great defensive game. He showed a lot of flash in his early years with Toronto but the previous coach decided to make him play defense first at all costs and it has severely cut his offensive production down. Leaf fans were not unrealistic in expecting a couple of 60 point seasons the past few years by the way he played as a rookie, but the opposite happened. His biggest weakness is the lack of an NHL caliber shot. It's fairly weak and not very accurate. Most of his goals will come from being set free offensively and playing with skilled guys where he can fly to the net and use his hands.
Colaiacovo has a huge heart and isn't afraid of anything. He can lay out some huge hits and plays a lot bigger than what he is. This has been his problem though, because he'll throw a hit without any regard to his physical safety and it has resulted in a few injuries. Though he carries the "glass" label, he hasn't had a lot of repeat injuries and some of them have been just plain bad luck and freakish. I think he can stay healthy and am sad to see him go. He has good offensive instincts and will certainly contribute offensively while in the lineup. Defensively he is pretty good as well, hard hitting and responsible. His shot and passing ability are above average, as well as his skating ability. All in all, I had him pegged as a top 4 defenseman on the Leafs that Ron Wilson just didn't like. Hopefully he gets a fair shot with the Blues.
I don't know much about Stempniak so I'm kind of disappointed with this trade. I know the Leafs might have won this but Steen and Carlo were great guys that I want to do well.
What to expect from Stempniak:
Above average skater
Fast shots, though not that accurate
Willing to use the body, but not great at it
Needs the players around him to be able to pass/bury his passes
Average to above average defensively
VERY streaky/confidence issues (This might be his downfall in TO... I hope not, though)
I hated the trade at first, but the more I think about it, the better it is.
Time will tell the tale on this trade.
Steen and Colaiacovo needed to move if they are to regain any of the potential they showed in their past. They've both had their impressive moments in Toronto. Unfortunately Toronto is terrible at developing players and if these guys get the right coaching this trade could turn out very well for the Blues.
I saw Steen play for swedens WHC team earlier this year and he sucked. He played with Backstrom, but he couldnt bury any of backstroms passes.
Steen wasn't in Québec.
Anyway, Steen was an awesome prospect when he played for Frölunda, and up until the point when his rookie season was over. Unfortunately he has been playing third line since in Toronto, but whenever he got a chance on the first he would produce.
I am all over the place over this trade, Stempniak is/was my favorite young Blues player, and while his stats are looking pretty solid so far this year, I still dont see that magic from his first two half years (only 3 goals). While he has an accurate shot, he continues to take bad shots, often shooting right into defenders' sticks or shin guards. He'll always bring a solid effort, good speed and solid defense.
Steen is someone who I think needed to get out of Toronto in order to succeed. Im not saying he will suddenly be a PPG guy, but I could definitely see him figure it out after getting out of the Hockey Capital of the world. Even if he doesnt develop anymore, he would be a solid 3rd line center on most teams.
I also think Cola is the key to this trade. I see Steen and Stemp as having similar ceilings/floors. If Cola figures out how to stay healthy, Blues win. If he never plays more than 50 games, Toronto will get the nod.
I have mixed feelings on this, too - I really like Stempniak. But from a "team" perspective, this could really pan out. McDonald and Oshie are out. Berglund shouldn't be out long. If Steen can step in and center a scoring line, that puts Tkachuk back at wing, where he belongs.
With everyone healthy, Stempniak is behind Kariya, Tkachuk, Perron, and Boyes on the wings for offensive production. However, with McDonald out (and possibly gone this summer), Steen could step directly in as a scoring center. At the very least, it could keep them from rushing Oshie back too soon.
And if the Blues are going to continue to take penalties at the pace of the past couple of games, they need a defensively-capable center other than just McClement.
It's obviously a risky move, but if Steen gets good line assignments and turns it around, it could be a good move not even considering Colaiacovo. The Blues will have guys like Eller, Lemtyugov, and Palushaj incoming over the next few years. I love Stempniak, but I don't feel confident that he'd secure a top-two line role over all of that talent.
We'll see how everything goes, and I'll always root for Stempniak when he's not playing against the Blues, but I think this deal has the distinct chance of helping in both the shortterm and longterm.
well congrats to you Blues fans you got two of Toronto's more underappreciated players and i think a change of scenery will be huge for Steen and same for Cola. Cola has all- star potential if he can stay healthy, and Steen is a very solid 2 way player that was terribly misused in Toronto.
i'm sad, but i've always liked Stempniak too though, so i dunno...i hope Steen and Cola finally reach their potential now in St. Louis.