What can Cory Stillman still offer?
Posted on: July 26, 2011 10:34 pm
Edited on: July 26, 2011 11:09 pm
By: Adam Gretz
It's late July and the list of free agents that can still help your team is getting short. How short? It's the point in the offseason where a depth signing like Jason Williams is semi-exciting news.
One player that is still floating around in free agent purgatory that could still be worth a look for a club in need of some offense is 37-year-old Cory Stillman. There was a report last week from Aaron Portzline of the Columbus Dispatch -- on Twitter -- that if the Blue Jackets couldn't secure a deal with Vinny Prospal they might have turned their attention to Stillman.
Other than that, it's been relatively quiet on the Stillman front. Does he still have something left to offer a team? Here's a quick look at what he has working in his favor (and what he has working against him):
1) He Can Still Score: A somewhat underrated point-producer for much of his career, Stillman is still capable of putting up some offense when he's in the lineup and hasn't really slowed down all that much. Over the past three seasons he's averaged .67 points per game, which is only a small drop from the .71 he's averaged over his entire career. He recorded 39 points (12 goals and 27 assists) in 65 games last season split between Florida and Carolina.
2) Playoff Experience: Stillman has earned two Stanley Cup rings in his career, one each with the Tampa Bay Lightning and Carolina Hurricanes, and was a point-per-game player during his postseason run with the Hurricanes during the 2006 playoffs, finishing second to only Eric Staal for the team lead in scoring. Playoff performance is always something teams are looking for, and Stillman is a veteran performer that's had his share of success in the postseason.
3) Potential Salary Cap Value: In the salary cap world value is everything, and Stillman, coming off a contract that saw him earn an average annual salary of $3.5 million could come at an affordable price. If you can get a 40-50 point performer on the cheap at this point in the offseason, you're probably lucky.
The two biggest things working against him, however, are his age (37, and turning 38 in December), and the fact he's had a difficult time staying healthy in recent years. He is still productive, but the key part of point No.1 above is the "when he's in the lineup" part. Over the past three seasons Stillman has appeared in just 186 out of a possible 246 regular season games, and has played more than 65 games just twice over the past six years.
Still, for a contract in the $1.5-$2.5 million range it would certainly be worth a shot at this point in the summer for a playoff team that needs a veteran winger that can provide some offense.
Photo: Getty Images