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Stafford in a rut developmentally. Is he worth a decent size deal to keep him?

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08-04-2009, 11:16 AM
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joshjull
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Stafford in a rut developmentally. Is he worth a decent size deal to keep him?

I got the idea for this thread reading through a debate in the 4th line thread.

Contract talks seem to be either nonexistant or at an impasse right now. The rumors are he wants a good sized deal (at least per year not sure about term).

Is he worth it at this point?


Stafford is at a standstill or slight decline right now developmentally.

His numbers the last two seasons

07-08 64gms 16g 22a 38pts (.59 ppg)
08-09 79gms 20g 25a 45pts (.57ppg)

He had the same goal scoring pace (.25gpg) and roughly the same points per game pace each year.

Thats a player in a rut that has yet to take the next step. Frankly he hasn't shown many signs he is going to. I didn't see much improvement in his physical game, offensive consistancy or defensive effort.

It certainly can't be argued that he hasn't had the ice time or the opportunity to play with top offensive players here.


Last edited by joshjull: 08-04-2009 at 11:23 AM.
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08-04-2009, 11:21 AM
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I think Stafford's lenience period was last season. He had a great rookie season that I think a lot of us are still high on, but it's time for him to step up. We have too many inconsistent forwards as it is.

No, not worth a sizable deal yet. I'd rather see a short-term, low money contract than something that would lock him up at money he doesn't deserve yet.

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08-04-2009, 11:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clock View Post
I think Stafford's lenience period was last season. He had a great rookie season that I think a lot of us are still high on, but it's time for him to step up. We have too many inconsistent forwards as it is.

No, not worth a sizable deal yet. I'd rather see a short-term, low money contract than something that would lock him up at money he doesn't deserve yet.
Thats what I'm thinking and I think Regier is too. But it seems Stafford and his agent have other ideas. Stafford certainly hasn't had problems thinking highly of himself in the past. He may need to swallow a bit of pride and take a short term deal to prove himself.

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08-04-2009, 11:31 AM
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I would pay him a decent size contract, but for only 2 years.

I fear the Penner/Olesz type deals that pay for potential and don't pan out. I'm willing to go as high as 3 mil a year for Stafford, but for only 2 years, thus maintaining RFA status. If he doesn't develop that Sabres don't have another long term Hecht contract on their hands.

If Stafford wants to hold firm, I am comfortable with trading him for long term assets (Picks/Prospects) as long as the NEW salary space is spent elsewhere (everyone knows that this means Malhotra).

Ideally, Stafford on a 1 year/2.5 mil deal would be nice (Bernier)

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08-04-2009, 11:35 AM
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stafford is the player i'm most unsure about. i really don't have a hunch either way whether he will live up to the potential of his rookie year.

i'm with jame on this one. a one year 2 or 2.5M deal would work well. we'd likely sign him at that and he'll be playing contract year hockey which would really determine whether or not we have rookie year stafford or average stafford.

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08-04-2009, 11:39 AM
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I concur w/ a 1-2 year deal.
What Stafford has shown in spurts is something this team and every team can use. Leverages his size, good along the walls, and great hands around the net.
Can he do that consistently? Or will he be a conundrum like Afinogenov (but in a different way)?
Being a pessimist by nature, I think he will be an inconsistent pro, but he has a ton of great attributes. If they blossom he could be an excellent top 3-6 forward. Who knows? Jury is still out and he is still very young. If the sabres can fit him in the budget he's worth giving more time to for sure.

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08-04-2009, 11:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshjull View Post
Thats what I'm thinking and I think Regier is too. But it seems Stafford and his agent have other ideas. Stafford certainly hasn't had problems thinking highly of himself in the past. He may need to swallow a bit of pride and take a short term deal to prove himself.
Yup. As much criticism as Darcy gets for lack of action, I'm glad that he apparently wasn't scared off by potential offersheets. As Jame said, we don't need a Penner on the team. The "thinking highly of himself" aspect that you brought up certainly is a wonderful reason that I hope he gets a low year / lowish money contract. He strikes me as a guy who could use some humility in his game when it's time to step up.

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08-04-2009, 11:42 AM
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I concur w/ a 1-2 year deal.
What Stafford has shown in spurts is something this team and every team can use. Leverages his size, good along the walls, and great hands around the net.
Can he do that consistently? Or will he be a conundrum like Afinogenov (but in a different way)?
Being a pessimist by nature, I think he will be an inconsistent pro, but he has a ton of great attributes. If they blossom he could be an excellent top 3-6 forward. Who knows? Jury is still out and he is still very young. If the sabres can fit him in the budget he's worth giving more time to for sure.
I think that would be the way to go as well

How high per year would you go?

I think Jame and PK are on track with a ceiling of about 2.5mil

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08-04-2009, 11:43 AM
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Stafford
for
Byfuglien, Skille, 2nd ?

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08-04-2009, 11:45 AM
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I don't like that we put him in the top 6 with the hopes that he blossoms. I'd rather spend money elsewhere and get assets from a team with more patience. I also see BZK as a better version of Staff, so we can bridge that gap to next year
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08-04-2009, 11:51 AM
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I don't like that we put him in the top 6 with the hopes that he blossoms. I'd rather spend money elsewhere and get assets from a team with more patience. I also see BZK as a better version of Staff, so we can bridge that gap to next year
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Is his projected offensive upside as a pro that high? Honestly, I dont know the answer to that (my insticnt is no). Or maybe you just want the team to go in a different direction up front. Which isnt a bad thing either.. I'm defintely game for re-tooling the offense to be more physical and responsible on the backend. I just worry that if we shed guys w/ pure abilities where will it lead the O? Just something I think about in terms of moving Stafford. Not that I am opposed to moving him.

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08-04-2009, 11:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gaf View Post
Is his projected offensive upside as a pro that high? Honestly, I dont know the answer to that (my insticnt is no). Or maybe you just want the team to go in a different direction up front. Which isnt a bad thing either.. I'm defintely game for re-tooling the offense to be more physical and responsible on the backend. I just worry that if we shed guys w/ pure abilities where will it lead the O? Just something I think about in terms of moving Stafford. Not that I am opposed to moving him.
I don't the Kassian's offensive upside is any higher than Staffords. But Stafford doesn't carry anything else to his game. Kassian has far more value in that he has a more complete upside then Stafford.

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08-04-2009, 11:58 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jBuds View Post
I don't like that we put him in the top 6 with the hopes that he blossoms. I'd rather spend money elsewhere and get assets from a team with more patience. I also see BZK as a better version of Staff, so we can bridge that gap to next year
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How exactly was he rushed? How showed that he was ready to take the next step.

He was dominant in Rochester in 06-07: 34gms 22g 22a 44pts
Then played great during his call up that year: 41gms 13g 14a 27pts

He had nothing to prove in the AHL and how shown glipses in his NHL stint of why he was drafted 13th overall.

Why wouldn't they put him in the top 6 the following year?

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08-04-2009, 11:59 AM
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Trade him for as much as you can get [top C prospect, Jame?], sign Bert for a year, then plan on Kassian or one of the Portland kids to take the RW spot.

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08-04-2009, 12:02 PM
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In a rut? The kid's 23, will be 24 in the hockey season.

Just because he showed signs of blossoming early is NOT a reason to give up on him. Power forwards take time to develop, and there's undeniable skill there.

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08-04-2009, 12:05 PM
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In a rut? The kid's 23, will be 24 in the hockey season.

Just because he showed signs of blossoming early is NOT a reason to give up on him. Power forwards take time to develop, and there's undeniable skill there.
At what cost? It seems like not only does he want a big paying deal, but he wants one that will let him skip town as soon as it expires. If they can trade him for a bluechip center prospect and possibly a pick, I'd do it immediately.

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08-04-2009, 12:08 PM
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At what cost? It seems like not only does he want a big paying deal, but he wants one that will let him skip town as soon as it expires. If they can trade him for a bluechip center prospect and possibly a pick, I'd do it immediately.
At what cost? He's an RFA that hasn't gotten any offers. I'm not sure what you mean by "cost"

Short term deal. Let him prove himself. I'm sure other GMs around the league feel the same judging by the fact that he hasn't gotten a deal to sign in over a month.

Your reasoning is why the Islanders were the joke of the NHL for awhile, with Luongo, Bertuzzi, etc. leaving for less than what should have been their value considering their ceiling.

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08-04-2009, 12:09 PM
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Quote:
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In a rut? The kid's 23, will be 24 in the hockey season.

Just because he showed signs of blossoming early is NOT a reason to give up on him. Power forwards take time to develop, and there's undeniable skill there.
You consider Stafford a power forward?

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08-04-2009, 12:10 PM
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Quote:
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You consider Stafford a power forward?
At his best? Certainly. He's shown flashes.

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08-04-2009, 12:11 PM
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joshjull
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In a rut? The kid's 23, will be 24 in the hockey season.

Just because he showed signs of blossoming early is NOT a reason to give up on him. Power forwards take time to develop.
Easy there

The question was whether or not he was worth big money now (that he is rumored to be looking for). I'm not asking if we should dump him.

And yes he is in a rut, standstill, lull (whatever word you want to choose) in his development. That doesn't mean he can't improve or wont improve. It just means he hasn't done much of that the last two years.

Also most power forwards early on in their development struggle to add offense to their already existing physical game. Stafford is not physical and I'm not sure why you think that type of game is going to suddenly emerge. He is a finesse forward with decent size that can use his body well but is hardly imposing physically.


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08-04-2009, 12:13 PM
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Personally, I don't see a sophomore slump as being a good enough reason to lowball him with his contract. It's not like young players having sub-par second seasons is rare, especially for a power forward who has no offensive help on his team outside of Vanek. If he's asking for something ridiculous, then sure, turn it down. However, if he's asking for a normal contract for a first round pick entering his third year and Darcy is just trying to stay within some kind of budget, then there's a problem.

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08-04-2009, 12:14 PM
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At his best? Certainly. He's shown flashes.
Not really to me. He doesn't consistently go to the net, he doesn't consistently win battles at either end of the ice. He doesn't throw his body around anymore than Clarke MacArthur.

I think he's more of a skilled big guy, then a Power Forward.

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08-04-2009, 12:22 PM
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Easy there

The question was whether or not he was worth big money now (that he is rumored to be looking for). I'm not asking if we should dump him.

And yes he is in a rut, standstill, lull (whatever word you want to choose) in his development. That doesn't mean he can't improve or wont improve. It just means he hasn't done much of that the last two years.

Also most power forwards early on in their development struggle to add offense to their already existing physical game. Stafford is not physical and I'm not sure why you think that type of game is going to suddenly emerge. He is a finesse forward with decent size that can use his body well but is hardly imposing physically.
That comment was more about where the thread went than the original post.

There was a month or two span last season, IIRC, (round January-Mid Feb.) where he played with a physical edge, and his production spiked.

Sometimes it takes young players time to make that correlation. If someone gives him a decent sized deal, ask me again when we have the specifics. As for now, while it's most likely going to be a 1-2 year tryout deal, we'd be idiotic to deal him.

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08-04-2009, 12:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Jame View Post
Not really to me. He doesn't consistently go to the net, he doesn't consistently win battles at either end of the ice. He doesn't throw his body around anymore than Clarke MacArthur.

I think he's more of a skilled big guy, then a Power Forward.
Consistently, no, he hasn't.

But, as I said, sometimes it takes a young player time to figure out the correlation between physical play and points (not to mention physical play and winning)

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08-04-2009, 12:28 PM
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Originally Posted by jflory81 View Post
At what cost? He's an RFA that hasn't gotten any offers. I'm not sure what you mean by "cost"

Short term deal. Let him prove himself. I'm sure other GMs around the league feel the same judging by the fact that he hasn't gotten a deal to sign in over a month.

Your reasoning is why the Islanders were the joke of the NHL for awhile, with Luongo, Bertuzzi, etc. leaving for less than what should have been their value considering their ceiling.
But it seems like he won't sign a short term deal. From the scuttlebutt, it sounds like he wants a big pay day that will take him to the cusp of UFA years, so that he can skip town for another big pay day.

Are you willing to keep him around if the only deal he would sign is 4 years at 3M a season? That's a lot to lock up on a guy who -- again, it appears -- wants to leave town ASAP, and hasn't improved on his game in the past year.

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