Lee Stempniak will be playing for his 10th National Hockey League team in 12 seasons, as he signed a two-year, 2.5 million-dollar deal with the Carolina Hurricanes on Friday.
Stempniak who this past season, took a training camp invite from the New Jersey Devils and turned it into one of the better seasons in his career. The right winger, went from having a great training camp with the Devils to becoming one of the top scorers on the team.
He put up 16 goals and 41 assists in 63 games for New Jersey, before being shipped to the Boston Bruins at the trading deadline. He was not as productive for Boston, only netting three goals and seven assists in the final 19 games of the season.
His combined 51 points between the Bruins and Devils were the most that he had scored since the 2006-2007 season, when he scored 52 points. That total almost a decade ago included a career high in goals, with 27 as well.
One reason his numbers flourished for New Jersey, was mainly due to the fact he was receiving more quality ice time, than in many of his other landing points. As the Devils, were not a high scoring team, he was given some top line minutes in Newark, which he enabled him to make the most of his opportunity.
The 33-year-old, right winger, was drafted by the St. Louis Blues with the 148th selection, in the fifth round, of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft. He led the Blues in goals during his rookie season (2006-2007). Along with David Backes and Jay McClement, he was part of one of the NHL’s youngest lines.
While he has now been on 10 teams in 12 years, six of those stops have been made only as recently as the 2013-2014 season. In addition to the Blues, Devils and Bruins and now Hurricanes, Stempniak has also been a part of the New York Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs, Phoenix Coyotes, Pittsburgh Penguins, Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets.
While he may not be considered the star or marquee player on the club, he is a versatile, consistent and reliable player that has been able to put up 184 goals and 236 assists over his career. He is the type of player, that his team can put their trust in to fill a variety of roles on the club.