Thoughtful fans understand it’s easy to second-guess trades. But more than a year after a deal that didn’t generate a lot of buzz, I wonder if Leaf fans believe the Steen and Colaiacovo for Stempniak deal was a good one for the Leafs?
I don’t see a lot of Steen and Colaiacovo these days, as they play in the Western conference. And just looking at numbers doesn’t always paint an accurate picture.
That said, the numbers say: Stempniak, who turns 27 in a few days, has 27 points and is a -7 in 51 games. He brings some grit most nights. Steen, who turns 26 soon, has 21 points (11 goals) in 35 games and is -3. Colaiacovo turns 27 in a week and as a defenseman has 15 points in 40 games and is a -2. He’s a 5-6 defenseman on the depth chart, and plays about 16-18 minutes a night, with some power play time.
Is Stempniak providing what the Leafs had hoped for? Would Steen be anything more than a “bottom six” forward with the Leafs? Would Colaiacovo be in the line-up every night for the Leafs?
The trade seemed to be about moving two players who were perhaps seen to be stagnating in Toronto. Steen was thought to be an under-achiever and Wilson didn’t like Colaiacovo’s conditioning. Both guys helped the Blues make a run to the playoffs last season. And St. Louis has a shot again this season in the tough Western conference.
The truth seems to be that while none of the players has stood out since the trade was made, St. Louis has two players contributing (when healthy), the Leafs one.