The cynic might say Paul Stastny seems highly motivated to have a great season for the Avalanche because he's in a contract year. The reality of pro sports history suggest it might be a contributing factor should Stastny have a great season. However it happens that will be fine with Avs management.

Stastny 27 enters his eighth season with Colorado having survived frequent trade rumors and three previous coaches. But whether he stays beyond this season with Colorado likely hinges on how well he does in this the final year of a five-year $33 million contract.

Unlike the situation with fellow center Matt Duchene who signed a five-year contract extension this summer there have been no talks about an extension for Stastny. He knows what's at stake as he starts playing for new coach Patrick Roy — who also serves as the team's vice president of hockey operations. But after a one-on-one talk with Roy recently Stastny came away feeling optimistic of better days for himself and the team.

"It was good. It was a lot better than I thought it would be to be honest" said Stastny whose salary is $6.5 million. "I thought it might just be kind of formal just basic but we went into details about a lot of things about things he wants from me and from our team. After I got to see what he wants it's like a small picture inside a big picture. There's a lot of things we haven't done in the past that he sees that some other guys would have seen as well that he wants to do and kind of emphasize on certain things which to me is pretty important. Things that play to our strength what we do best."

Asked what those things are Stastny said: "Our puck possession our forwards. We've got three lines that can play with anybody and our fourth line's actually good too. Possession-wise you've got dynamic guys on each line ... and with that you'll have two good power-play units as well. With that you'll kind of want everyone to do well. Everyone's sick of losing."