With T.J. Oshie dealt to the Washington Capitals in the offseason, Paul Stastny is ready to embrace more of a leadership role in second season with the St. Louis Blues.
“By the end of the year I started speaking up. The first year with a new team, you kind of fly under the radar and be quiet,” Stastny told The Denver Post. “As you get older you have to speak up. You want to win. If you see something go wrong, you’re not going to sit there and not say anything.”
The 29-year-old scored 16 goals and 30 assists in 74 games last season. He added one goal in six playoff games.
Following the Blues’ first round loss to the Minnesota Wild, GM Doug Armstrong said he needed more from Stastny moving forward.
“Paul Stastny needs to be a bigger part of our group,” Armstrong said. “He’s our highest-paid player, we need him to be a bigger and better part of our team.”
Heading into the second year of his four-year $28 million deal, Stastny feels better settled in his new surroundings.
“This summer and going into next season, we’re a lot more comfortable,” he said. “You see that in all sports. You move forward. You still have three or four of your best friends on your old team, but for us going forward we’re just a lot more comfortable. Last summer was just hectic with bachelor parties, weddings, and July 1 (free agency). There was a lot of traveling and this summer is a lot more low-key.”