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Stastny plans to be bigger leader with Blues

NHL.com @NHL

Paul Stastny plans to take a more active leadership role in his second season with the St. Louis Blues.

"The first year with a new team, you kind of fly under the radar and be quiet," Stastny told The Denver Post on Tuesday. "But as you get older, you have to speak up. You want to win. If you see something go wrong, you're not going to sit there and not say anything.

"[Leadership], it's another attribute and ability that you're good at, and feel like you're not being used for it and kind of hindering yourself and not being involved as much as you should be. But at same time, when you come to a new team, especially a team that's good and has been built from the bottom, they already have their leaders."

Stastny had 16 goals, 30 assists and a plus-5 rating in 74 regular-season games in 2014-15. The Blues lost their Western Conference First Round series against the Minnesota Wild in six games; Stastny had one goal, no assists and a minus-3 rating.

The 29-year-old center had 458 points (160 goals) in 538 games over eight seasons with the Colorado Avalanche.

Colorado missed the playoffs last season after winning the Central Division in 2013-14. Stastny said that's not because he left as a free agent, but because of the stiff competition in the Western Conference.

"It's crazy that six or seven teams finished with over 100 points," he said. "Seems every team gets better in the Western Conference, no matter what. The good teams get better and the bad teams make moves and play better hockey. That Western Conference just keeps getting deeper and forces you to be good day in and day out."

Stastny was among a handful of NHL players who skated Tuesday at the University of Denver's annual pro alumni camp. Avalanche defenseman Nikita Zadorov, acquired as part of the June 26 trade that sent center Ryan O'Reilly to the Buffalo Sabres, joined Denver players and alumni on the ice.

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