Alex Steen or Matt Stajan: Who Is the Better Player for the Toronto Maple Leafs?

Shane HouseAnalyst IAugust 26, 2008

With the possibility of Mats Sundin returning to Toronto looking bleaker by the minute, I am trying to think of who will replace him.

I mean, you can never replace a Mats Sundin, but it somehow has to be done on this Toronto Maple Leaf team. I honestly don't believe Nik Antropov has the leadership qualities or the potential to do it, so I am looking elsewhere.

Which brings me to these two players: Matt Stajan and Alex Steen.

Both are good players and contribute a lot to Toronto, but who is the better player?

I believe that both are defensively sound (despite Matt Stajan's -11 plus/minus rating shows) and both are very good handling the puck.

When it comes to offense, I believe that Alex Steen can be a much better play-maker and offensive threat. This is based solely on the fact that Steen has put up better numbers and shows more offensive prowess than Stajan.

So how is there a comparison then?

Easy. Leadership.

Matt Stajan gives everything he has on the ice every shift and is willing to do whatever it takes to win. He is a heart and soul player with the character and grit to lead a team.

Alex Steen, who I have seen give up on plays, isn't always willing to get dirty when necessary in order to win a game.

Plus, I feel Stajan is an offensively gifted player, just not to the extent of Steen.

Knowing all of this, as much as I like both players, I think that Stajan contributes more overall to Toronto than Steen. Stajan has character, he has heart, and is good at both ends of the ice. Because of this, I feel he is better for the Toronto Maple Leafs.