As the NHL trading deadline neared six weeks ago, Colorado Avalanche center Paul Stastny was getting anxious. There were rumors the team was looking to move him, but he wanted to stay. So on March 5, with the 3 p.m. Eastern time deadline approaching and the team in Detroit, Stastny attended mass on Ash Wednesday and then watched “American Hustle” in his hotel room while he checked his phone for messages. When the deadline passed and he was still a member of the Avalanche, he was relieved. “To me it was kind of a sign of confidence that they want me and I’m an important piece,” Stastny said. “For a couple of days you think about it; it’s hard not to. We have such a good group of guys. They see that.” Everyone saw the benefit of keeping Stastny in Thursday’s 5-4 victory over the Wild in Game 1 of the Western Conference quarterfinals. Stastny came through with a tying goal with 13.4 seconds left in regulation and then won it 7:27 into overtime. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Stastny is the first player in Stanley Cup playoffs history to score a tying goal in the final 15 seconds of regulation and then win the game in overtime. It turned out not making a trade was the smart move, but coach Patrick Roy said the team never really considered dealing him. “Honestly, it was not even close for us to move Paulie,” Roy said. “We said all along we didn’t want rental players.” Speculation that Stastny was on the market stemmed from the fact that his five-year, $33 million contract was up after this season and he would be too expensive to keep at that price. However, Stastny said before the trade deadline he would be willing to give Colorado a hometown discount.
Avs' Stastny goes from trade bait to essential
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Apr 21