Stempniak Already Paying Dividends for Coyotes

Cameron PaulCorrespondent IMarch 15, 2010

For a team that already lacked offense, it was horrible news when it was announced that the then Coyotes leading goal scorer Scottie Upshall would be out for the remainder of the season with a torn knee ligament.


Coyotes general manger Don Maloney knew he had to add some offense at the NHL trade deadline and that is exactly what he did.


Although the acquiring of Wojtek Wolksi has helped the Coyotes offense, the acquiring of Lee Stempniak from the Toronto Maple Leafs has helped the Coyotes offense even more.


When the Coyotes acquired Stempniak he had been in a slump offensively, recording only one goal in his past 14 games with the Leafs. In his first game as a Coyote, Stempniak quickly proved it was just a slump, as he quickly scored his first goal with his new team.


Stempniak would continue to be a offensive force with the Coyotes scoring six goals in just five games, including two multi-goal games. Stempniak scored a career high 27 goals in 2006-07 with the St. Louis Blues and if he continues his hot play of late, it's possible he can match or beat that total.


The Coyotes are hoping Stempniak can continue his strong play into the playoffs. If he can do that, the 27 year old, who is on his last year of a deal that pays him 3.5 million a season, would definitely be worthy of a resigning by the Coyotes.


Before his trade to the Coyotes, Stempniak would have been very lucky to get the amount of money that he is currently getting, but now it isn't inconceivable that he can get close to that same amount.


Considering the Coyotes only gave up a a couple late round draft picks and a minor league player who hasn't even played a game all year, this has to be considered a huge steal by the Coyotes.