January 28, 1980 |
Los Angeles, CA, USA
|Height||6 ft 0 in (183 cm)|
|Weight||195 lb (88 kg; 13 st 13 lb)|
Detroit Red Wings
Stafford played four years of junior hockey for the Des Moines Buccaneers of the United States Hockey League where he led the team to both league and national championships as a captain. Then he earned a full athletic scholarship to the University of New Hampshire. He played for UNH for four years. He was an assistant captain his junior and senior year. During his four years he was voted to one second team Hockey East and one first team all Hockey East. In all the wildcats won the Hockey East Championship twice and made it to the Frozen Four three times. He ended his college career with a national championship game, which UNH lost 5-1 to Minnesota.
On December 9, 2003, he was signed as a free agent by the San Jose Sharks. His rookie season he was voted to All Rookie Team for the AHL and coppered in the All-Star game. He spent three seasons with the Sharks' American Hockey League affiliate, the Cleveland Barons (later the Worcester Sharks.)
His first pro season ended with an ugly incident. On April 30, 2004, Stafford was playing for the Cleveland Barons against the Hamilton Bulldogs in the Calder Cup playoffs when he got into an altercation with Hamilton's winger Alexander Perezhogin. Stafford and Perezhogin were battling resulting in them both falling to the ice. Perezhogin swung his stick into Stafford's face as he was getting up. The slash knocked Stafford unconscious resulting in a concussion and sending him into convulsions on the ice as well as causing severe facial wounds which required 20 stitches to repair.
Perezhogin was charged with assault causing bodily harm and was given a one-year probation as well as being ordered to cover Stafford's medical expenses and donate a further $5000 to charity. Perezhogin was also suspended for the rest of the playoffs and the whole of the 2004–05 season (a total of 89 games), the longest suspension in AHL history, and one of the longest ever in professional hockey. Stafford was also suspended for six games for his part in the incident. He made a full recovery in time for the next season.
On July 16, 2007, he was signed as a free agent by the Detroit Red Wings. Stafford played his first NHL game on February 23, 2008, against the Vancouver Canucks. He was recalled by the Wings earlier that day after injuries to Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski and Chris Chelios.
Stafford was released by the Red Wings after the 2008 Stanley Cup run and on July 3, 2008, he was signed as a free agent by the Dallas Stars. On October 4, 2008, the Stars loaned him back to Grand Rapids. The Stars recalled him on March 29, 2009. In the 2009–10 season he was assigned to Dallas' AHL affiliate, the Texas Stars, and helped Texas reach the Calder Cup finals in its inaugural year.
On July 3, 2010, Stafford was signed as a free agent by the Phoenix Coyotes to a one-year contract. Again he competed in the AHL All-Star game and was voted to the starting line up. Later that year he was again called up by the Coyotes. 
On October 23, 2011, the Montreal Canadiens acquired Stafford and forward Petteri Nokelainen from the Phoenix Coyotes in exchange for forward Brock Trotter and a seventh-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft.
Stafford was signed as a free agent to a one-year contract with the Washington Capitals on July 2, 2012. Due to the impending 2012 NHL lockout, he was directly assigned to AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears, to begin the 2012–13 season. On April 2, 2013, Stafford was traded by the Capitals to the Edmonton Oilers in exchange for Dane Byers.
In December 2013, Stafford signed a contract for the 2013-2014 season with Swiss club, Genève-Servette HC of the NLA. They shortly after competed in the Spengler Cup where he was intricate in helping the Eagles claim the championship and win the championship game over KHL team CSKA.
On June 2014, Stafford signed a contract for the 2014-2015 season with Finnish club, Porin Ässät of the SM-Liiga.
Awards and honors
|All-Hockey East Second Team||2001–02|
|Hockey East All-Tournament Team||2002|||
|Hockey East All-Tournament Team||2003|||
- 2010-11 AHL All-Star Starting Line Up
|1996–97||Des Moines Buccaneers||USHL||37||1||10||11||40||5||0||0||0||0|
|1997–98||Des Moines Buccaneers||USHL||53||6||17||23||89||12||1||3||4||42|
|1998–99||Des Moines Buccaneers||USHL||56||8||33||41||54||13||2||2||4||18|
|1999–00||University of New Hampshire||HE||38||3||9||12||28||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||University of New Hampshire||HE||37||5||21||26||44||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||University of New Hampshire||HE||36||5||22||27||42||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||University of New Hampshire||HE||23||1||15||16||24||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||69||11||33||44||36||—||—||—||—||—|
|2007–08||Detroit Red Wings||NHL||2||0||0||0||0||—||—||—||—||—|
|2008–09||Grand Rapids Griffins||AHL||70||11||34||45||50||10||0||5||5||4|
|2010–11||San Antonio Rampage||AHL||65||14||32||46||74||—||—||—||—||—|
- "Coyotes sign four players to contracts". Phoenix Coyotes. 2010-07-03. Retrieved 2010-07-03.
- "Canadiens acquire Nokelainen, Stafford from Phoenix". The Globe and Mail (Toronto). October 23, 2011.
- "Capitals sign defenseman Stafford". Washington Capitals. 2012-07-02. Retrieved 2012-07-02.
- "Oilers acquire Stafford from Capitals for Byers". The Sports Network. 2013-04-02. Retrieved 2013-04-02.
- "2013-14 Hockey East Media Guide". Hockey East. Retrieved 2014-05-19.