33-Year-Old Right Wing – Carolina Hurricanes
Lee Stempniak Contract Information:
Signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Hurricanes in July 2016.
Stempniak signed a two-year, $5 million contract with Carolina on Friday, reports TSN's Bob McKenzie.
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Lee Stempniak: Past News Updates ( ▲ View most recent update )
RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
In the signing of the former Flames forward, the organization will look to reproduce the high-value production they got out of Benoit Pouliot last season. Stempniak, a former fifth-round pick by St. Louis in 2003 and a trade deadline rental for Pittsburgh last year, is entering his 10th season in the league. Although his best seasons (27 goals, 52 points in 2006-07) came at the front end of his career, and he's not likely to register anything beyond third- or fourth-line minutes, there's widespread speculation that his style of play may be a good fit and you’ll see a temporary jolt to his offensive production. While we're far from suggesting you include him on your draft preparation, but he's certainly worth adding to your watch list.
Stempniak was thought to be a blossoming top scorer after bursting onto the scene with 52 points in his sophomore season in St. Louis. However, since then, he has struggled with consistency, showing flashes of brilliance, but also going through extended slumps. He found a nice niche in Calgary last season, though, leading the team with 32 points in 47 games. If he finds his way onto the Flames' first line like he should, he could come close to those 52 points from back in 2006-07. Slide that number back a bit if he ends up on the second line.
While Stempniak started his career with a bang in his first two seasons with St. Louis, his production has slowed since, as his 27-goal performance in 2006-07 appears to have been a bit of a fluke. Injuries hampered him in 2011-12, as he played only 61 games, notching 14 goals and 14 assists. He is a solid third-line option for the Flames, but likely won’t crack the top-six forwards, which would make him much more valuable. Expect 15-20 goals and 35-40 points from him in 2012-13.
Through 82 games in 2010-11, Stempniak tallied 19 goals and 19 assists to go along with a plus-4 rating and 19 PIMs. The problem here is the winger's lack of consistency; his scoring came in bunches and the droughts between finding the back of the net sometimes stretched for weeks. When healthy, Stempniak doesn't often struggle to turn in a 30-point season, but his unreliability makes him a very dangerous fantasy play.
Stempniak is one of the bigger names in free agency ahead of the 2010-11 season, but as of mid-August, the prolific goal scorer is still without a team. The 27-year-old forward had been somewhat of a bust for the Maple Leafs, scoring 14 times in 62 games in 2009-10, but as soon he was shipped to Phoenix, his value skyrocketed as he reached 14 goals in just 18 games. Perhaps he's trying to command more money than team owners are willing to offer to the streaky player. Regardless, he's a good buy-low candidate in fantasy leagues for the real possibility that he'll eventually sign with a team.
Stempniak played an inconsistent, soft game last season in a strikingly underwhelming performance after arriving in Toronto. He seems to get distracted and is easily pushed off the puck, and is a passenger instead of a driver. Don't overestimate him -- that 52-point sophomore season is already far in the rear-view mirror.
Stempniak had 52 points in 82 games in 2006-07 but just 38 points and 14 fewer goals in 80 games during last season's disappointing campaign. But despite that disappointment, he is still one of the Blues best young forwards. He has the potential to surpass '06-07's 27 goals considering that he will see play on one of the team's top two lines as well as see significant power play time. However, when we see a young player who has a nearly 50% drop in goals from one year to the next, it raises significant concerns. This season will be huge for Stempniak with one more year on his contract but a large stable of younger Blues fowards aiming for his spot on the depth chart.
Stempniak was a pleasant surprise last year, ranking second on the team in goals with 27, one behind the since-departed Bill Guerin, and he was one of coach Andy Murray's favorite weapons on the power play. In short, Stempniak appears to be coming into his own as a scorer, and could be ready to top the 52 points he netted last year. Also, with the upgrades the Blues have made on offense, Stempniak's supporting cast should be better this season, too. He's worth considering as a mid- to late-round pickup in deeper fantasy leagues.
Stempniak had a decent rookie season last year with the Blues, scoring 27 points in 57 games. However, from a fantasy perspective he has more value in keeper leagues at this point in his career.