Lee Stempniak: 2017-18 By The Numbers
- Age: 35
- NHL seasons: 13
- Scoring: 3 goals - 6 assists - 9 points
- Ice Time: 12:28 all situations, 11:58 ES, 0:06 PP, 0:24 PK
- 5-on-5 stats: 55.1% CF, 37.9% GF
- Contract Status: UFA; finished final season of two-year, $2.5 million AAV contract
Making the Grade
After producing a season somewhat in line with expectations in 2016-17 by totaling 40 points, an injury-plagued 2017-18 campaign very likely signals the end of the Lee Stempniak era in Raleigh. Missing almost the entire first half the season due to a pair of upper body injuries, he was activated in January, but never seemed to get up to speed in the 37 games he competed in. While the previous season saw runs of offensive success with Stempniak partnered with Victor Rask and Jeff Skinner, he never approached that production this year and was rarely given a vital role in the second half.
While Stempniak returned from injured reserve with four points in his first six games, he proceeded to tally only one point over his next 18 games as the Hurricanes slid further and further away from the final playoff spot in the East. Consequently, Stempniak saw further reduced ice time, frequently seeing less than 10 minutes a game over the season’s final month.
While Stempniak is a capable veteran playmaker, he is certainly not the kind of difference-making player that Carolina will be looking to add to the lineup going forward in a search for a more consistent offensive push, and at 35 his risk for injuries just like last season only continue to rise. Just a few seasons ago, Stempniak made the Devils roster on a tryout offer, and if he wishes to continue his NHL career at age 35, he will likely have to search for a similar opportunity again this season.
Stempniak’s time in Carolina will likely be seen as yet another example of the Canes settling for a nice enough player at a low cost that simply does not move the needle enough to help propel the Canes back to postseason.
How do you grade Lee Stempniak’s 2017-18 season?
This poll is closed
A - outstanding performance
B - above average performance
C - average performance
D - below average performance
F - significantly below average performance