Since the signing of Vadim Shipachyov the Golden Knights have been rumored for just about every international player considering coming over to the NHL. The new name everyone is all excited about is Stephane Da Costa. Some of you might remember Da Costa from the sporadic 47 games he played with Ottawa over four seasons. Pathetically, I’ll admit I only remember the 27-year-old by the violent hit he took from Dion Cuthbert-Phaneuf.
The native Parisian and former Merrimack college standout signed as an undrafted free agent in March of 2011. Da Costa made his NHL debut a couple weeks later. However, he never found success with the Senators, which is why he eventually landed in the KHL. During his time in Ottawa, several red flags were revealed. One in particular that put him in the Ottawa doghouse.
He couldn’t even play in the league two years ago… he wasn’t strong enough. He wasn’t fit enough. His game wasn’t competitive enough to play in the league. –Paul MacLean, Senators Head Coach 10/01/13
From past reports, Da Costa’s reputation took a hit. He skipped rookie camp and showed up out of shape in 2011. Not a great sign for an undrafted free agent. Ottawa definitely believed in Da Costa’s potential but ultimately became frustrated and moved on.
Factors that can’t be overlooked are his determination to improve his weaknesses and his willingness to commit to the journey that landed him an NHL opportunity. –Hockeysfuture.com
The Golden Knights need to sign players, but also have to be creative in doing so. Shipachyov was a great example of that. He was a player that’s never played in the NHL, has been thriving in the KHL for years now, and the upside is through the roof. The Golden Knights jumped on him first and now, his age, skill and value will ultimately help the new franchise. Da Costa on the other hand, may be trending upwards in the World Championships but he’s projected to become just a role player on the Vegas roster.
A number of NHL teams have expressed some interest in Da Costa who has played the last 3 seasons with CSKA Moscow in the KHL.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 15, 2017
It’s not all Uncle Sour though here. The Golden Knights and Da Costa could benefit from each other for several reasons. George McPhee may find a second or third-line center under, something that will be tough to come by in the Expansion Draft. Plus, if he plays well, he could end up being a nice trade chip at the deadline or in the first offseason. The price has to be right though. Da Costa must sign a team friendly deal for this to make any sense to the Golden Knights. Vegas has the money to spend, but can’t even consider entering into what could be a bad contract before they are forced to take on 30 more at the Expansion Draft.
It’s been fun watching him play in the World Championships. He obviously is highly-skilled and has incredible vision. Check this beauty.
There are some things to like, but if Vegas passes on Da Costa don’t fret, it’s probably the right decision.
The French-born center led the Merrimack Warriors in each of his first two college seasons, inspiring the Ottawa Senators to outbid 20 teams sign the top-rated free agent to a two-year deal. But Da Costa’s puck skills and creativity failed to impress over four seasons and 47 games in the NHL, so he moved on to the KHL where he had some success. –Sports Illustrated’s Worst College Free Agents
Not sure about you, but I’m hoping the Golden Knights stay off lists like that, especially with the third signing in team history.