Thursday, February 16, 2012

Matt Stajan Is Useless

So here is the thing, gang. Matt Stajan is useless. Breaking news.

Stajan's crime this time? Cammalleri playing centre.

Here are the guys listed as a 'C' on the game log. (Yes, perfectly aware they all are not utilized as a 'C', thanks). Kolanos, Joker, Stajan, Byron, Horak, Bouma, and (now) Cammo.

'And (now) Cammo', to me, is a problem. Kolanos, Byron, Horak, and Bouma are guys who should, at this point in their careers, be playing bottom six roles, if at all, in the NHL. While Kolanos, Byron, and Horak is a great scoring line in the AHL, I don't think it would translate very well over 82 in the NHL. And of those guys mentioned, only Bouma (wha?) is big enough, in my opinion, to be playing a role in the bottom six.

 That leaves one guy on the roster who could maybe, possibly, if-coach-is-drunk-enough-ly, be looked at to play some minutes at centre so that Cammo doesn't have to, and that guy is Matt Stajan. The guy who makes 3.5 million dollars a year. The guy who makes 18 grand a game, where he usually plays like 8 minutes a night.

Yet, the coach didn't even risk it. The coach moved Cammo to C, instead of moving Stajan to play up in the top six, so as to keep Cammo (and his shot) on the wing. In fact, the coach was using, as the de facto second line, a combination of Tommy K/Cammo/Comeau. Which is pretty fucking terrible for an NHL team.

When the team is healthy, Matt Stajan plays a bottom six role. Poorly, because he is Matt Stajan, and when Matt Stajan isn't scoring, he isn't doing anything else. When the team is reeling from injuries and the effects of 'centre depth', Matt Stajan plays...a bottom six role. For 3.5 million dollars.

If you are a regular visitor, you know I don't think very highly of Coach Junior. But Sutter played in the league and has seen the thang. He has coached a lot of players. I may not love his philosophy, but I'm not going to deny he has one. And to me, the fact that coach would rather play a line of Kostopoulos/Cammalleri/Comeau than move Stajan up to play with Cammo speaks volumes about his utility, real or perceived, on this team.

Ergo, Matt Stajan is useless. I realize there is not much you can do about while Backlund, Moss, and Jones are out. I also realize the team doesn't have the cap space (or assets, more importantly) to go out and bring in a guy who can play either (partly because Stajan makes 3.5). But his uselessness shouldn't be tolerated. How many of you out there freak out when a team dresses an enforcer? And you can at least make an argument as to the wisdom of having an enforcer on the roster. What argument can you make for Stajan?

The team should shit or get off the pot. At 3.5 million, you either have to be the best checking centre in the league, or you have to play in the top six. Stajan isn't the former, so if the team isn't going to play him, they have to get rid of him. You have to trade him, or send him down, or buy him out.

Trading the guy seems unrealistic. He is signed until 2014. Not only that, the team doesn't play him in any role that would enhance his value, so they can't sell him as a specialist of any sort. Further, he has never played in the playoffs in the NHL. You can't even sell him as an experienced veteran. Maybe you can get lucky and some team takes him for a second rounder (like the Kotalik deal) but I doubt that is out there.

But again, the only reason Stajan is taking a shift is because of injuries. Ideally, they should look to move him at this deadline. If the team can't, they have to get rid of him using the other two options, which are to buy him out, or permanently send him down to the AHL.

From what I see from capgeek, you can send him down. I think the fact they didn't do this at the beginning of the year speaks to the owners being cheap, quite frankly. But if they don't do it at the start of next year, I think it will be cemented fact that the owners are cheaping out when it comes to finding a solution to this problem.

If Edwards does want to cheap out, fine. But then they have to buy him out. Here's the damage to that (which I would bet a lot of you have seen anyways). I don't know if you want to be burning cap space, but in this case, I will light the fucking match myself. Again, you can't use Stajan on the wing, at least we haven't seen any sign he is capable of that, and he can't really play centre in the NHL. He is useless, so his presence off your roster is actually worth paying for, in my opinion.

I think if this season has shown me anything, it is that you can get away with a lot of 'fuck it' with regards to the roster if you have a big line going, a couple blueliners, and a goalie. Why couldn't the club go with a bottom six that features Backlund and Jones at centre? If the club keeps Olli, it would have a top six of Tangs, Joker, Iggy, Glencross, and Cammo. If Stajan can't play with them, he shouldn't be on the roster, period. Ideally, he should be sent down so the club could spend that money on a real top six centre, but even if they cheap out, the buy out still gives them about a million and a half dollars more to work with then they would have with Stajan on the roster.

Because keeping him on the roster is stupid, because he is useless.

Furthermore, I think Peter Loubardias Ken King should be fired.


  1. "it would have a top six of Tangs, Joker, Iggy, Glencross, and Cammo"

    That's 5 players, I assume you are putting Backlund in there.

    With respect to a buy out, don't forget you are going to have to spend at least the minimum salary to replace Stajan on the roster. So you don't actually free up the $1.75 million - you only free up $1.75 million - (replacement player salary). Say we pay $550,000. That only gets us $1.2 million in cap space. Which is probably only enough to resign Backlund and Jokinen.

    Le sigh.


  2. Stajan's effort is appalling. He has the demeanour of a insecure computer programmer and the spine of a jellyfish. Verse Dallas on March 4th he gently tied up Ott and watched him facewash a teammate .. GROW A PAIR. His presence on the ice, bench and in the City of Calgary is negatively affecting my heath and the health of the hockey team. If Gio/Kipper/Jackman is on one end of the effort spectrum for the Flames, Stajan would be on the complete opposite end. The only thing he is good at is dumping and changing.

    This is all I can think of when I think of this guy (replace Damon with Stajan):