Lee Stempniak exchanged for Alexander Steen and Carlo Colaiacovo.
I like it, and here's why:
Steen has plenty of potential. Ever since his 45-point rookie season Leafs fans have been anxiously awaiting his top-six winger potential to unleash on the NHL. Many, including myself, predicted Steen to establish himself as a 60-point guy who is responsible in his own end and can be used on the PK. Four seasons into his NHL career and that hasn’t happened. Most Leafs fans were expecting him to break-out this season, but the 24 year old only garnered 2 goals and 4 points in 20 games.
Still, I've always liked Steen's game and I think he could become an offensive force in the NHL. While it may not come right away, he's got the tools to break-out in any given moment. Blues fans should be content with this acquisition.
Colaiacovo. The first word that came to your head is injury. Like Steen, Colaiacovo has loads of potential. He hits hard, has a big shot, passes with precision and is positionally sound in his own end. If it were not for his frequent injuries, the 2001 17th overall pick would have no doubt found his place on the Leafs' roster as a top 4 defender. He will be missed, but his injuries will not.
I'd be lying if I told you I saw Stempniak in action enough to describe his game. So here's what sportsnet.ca had to say of the 25 year old:
Owns excellent speed and quickness. Can play either wing position and displays plenty of scoring potential.
Needs more refinement in his play without the puck. Is somewhat undersized, which may hinder his production in the long run.
Top six winger
Although it appears he lacks a responsible defensive game, his speed, quickness and scoring potential should make him feel right at home with the Leafs' current squad.
While he only scored 38 points last season, it's encouraging to note that he posted an impressive 27 goals and 58 points in his sophomore season.
As of now, Stempniak has 12 points in 13 games this season (11 PTS in his last 7 games...he's on fire!)
What do you folks think of the trade?