The controversy sorrounding last years number one pick Steven Stamkos has been well documented in the Bay Area. The disagreement as far as his skills and as far as his readiness to play in the NHL are the main reasons why we fired Barry Melrose 16 games into the season. The new ownership group and front office felt that with as much marketing money as we have poured into Stamkos, that he needed to see the ice often. Melrose saw the situation much differently and felt that Stammer wasn’t ready for the Show.
His play at the start of the season didn’t really do much to dissuade Melrose’s thoughts. Through 51 games Stamkos was sitting at 6 goals scored, and at times often looked overpowered by grizzled NHL vets. Through his last 8 games however, Stamkos has 6 goals, and is finally starting to look like the player that many thought he was going to be, the kind of player that warrants a number one selection in the NHL entry draft.
Watching him play the last few weeks, I see the fluid skating and the natural goal scoring ability that made him such an intruiging top tier prospect. His goal the other night vs Edmonton started by a beautiful two line pass from Ryan Malone up the ice, was a thing of beauty, a goal that a very good goaltender, Dwayne Roloson, had no shot at. His hat trick on the 17th vs the Blackhawks was the first of many of his career.