As coach Davis Payne made very clear to the Post-Dispatch's Jeremy Rutherford, Matt D'Agostini will have to work to maintain that role on the team past camp. David Perron's concussion and the limbo that he's in has left the slot open for D'Agostini, and it's a role that he excelled at last season. D'Agostini scored 21 goals in a season that saw increased time with David Backes and Andy McDonald, and that's where he'll begin this season.
"He doesn't have this credit built up to the point that this is no-brainer for 15-20 games ... let's make sure Matt gets on track," Payne said. "We've got to perform now. We like his ability to make plays, we like his ability to play strong, shoot the puck, we like his ability in a net-front situation. He's got some real advantages and pluses there. He's got to round out his game. If he wants to be a continual top six or a continual top nine for us, there's going to be an expectation on him as it will for everybody to play the game the right way."â†µ