Dreger: Stepan “unlikely” to be in lineup opening day

September 19, 2013, by

Per Darren Dreger, grain of salt required, the Rangers and holdout center Derek Stepan are just $500k per year (over a two-year bridge deal) apart on contract negotiations. New York is taking a hardball approach, ┬ásticking to $3 million per year over the two-year deal. Stepan wants $3.5 million. I believe $3.5 million is closer to market value, since Nazem Kadri and his one full year of NHL experience landed $2.9 million. That said, the Rangers are near the cap, and while they likely won’t exceed the $64.3 million cap, every little bit of room helps at the deadline.

Again, this should be taken with a grain of salt. Reports of dollar amounts demanded/offered are usually off.


  1. Insider says:

    They should just give him the money, he’s the second best forward. He deserves better treatment than this hardball crap.

    • Dave says:

      Tough to really say that on a cap crunched team. Every dollar helps.

      • cv19 says:

        Don’t be pennywise with Stepan. He’s got the look of a winner written all over him. If it fits, give him the 3.5M. And he’s a steal at that price!

        • Evan M says:

          at this point neither will “cave.” If these numbers are accurate, then they should just agree on 3.25 and call it a day. Or 3.25 at one year and then Step has his arbitration rights next year. Win win win

    • Easyguy says:

      Trade delzaster contract screw the bridge deal sing Stepan long term for cheaper now then in two years from now when he’s even better

    • JimBob says:

      The rangers should send him off to Phoenix for a first round draft pick. If he’s as good as he thinks then he will get his $$$$……for him to get dollars in NY, the rangers will have to dump someone ( a team mate) to meet cap….yeah, a real team player. Just greedy !

      • Rob says:

        Wait, did you mean trade Step? Or were you referring to the DelZotto comment? Well if you were talking about Stepan, my question to is, did you watch the 2010 WJHC?

        • JimBob says:

          Rob I did mean Step…this is 2013 going on 2014 ! not Juniors either.

          • Rob says:

            I understand what year were in. So I’m assuming you didn’t see any of that tournament. The world Juniors is one of the most important tournaments in all of Hockey, and generally players that do very well in it ,especially when they win the championship, and take control of the tournament like Stepan did. Tend to take similar roles in the NHL in their prime years. History has proven this. Don’t give up on Step yet. There are players right now in similar places that are getting more then Step. It’s just unfortunate that we have cap issues atm. Hopefully both sides can come to an agreement …soon.

      • WilliamW says:

        The point of draft picks is to hope they turn into a player of Stepan’s quality.

        Of last year’s draft there are only a handful of players I’d trade straight up for Stepan and that’s the deepest draft in recent years

        To trade a 1C because he’s ~500k off in salary when he has NO leverage is a decision that gets GMs fired

  2. Easyguy says:

    Stepan should get what mcdonagh got. He’s our number one center and staal next season should get about 5 mill being the bes d man on the team

  3. Mikeyyy says:

    Trade his punk a**.

    The better than expected play of all the players in camp have made stepans position of leverage non existant.

    If he wanted to be a ranger he would have already signed.

    • Seahorse says:

      im gonna disagree with you when he says i want my career to end here

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Really? “The better than expected play of the players in camp” is reason to trade the team’s leading scorer from last season because he’s asking for market value? Yes, camp, where the play emulates the regular season perfectly, right?

      You realize training camp has only been one week, right? More than enough time to make decisions like trading your best center because he’s holding out…a week into camp.

      He should sign the deal and soon, since he has no negotiating power, but to flat out say “trade him” is ludicrous, especially based on ONE WEEK of camp and TWO preseason games.

      • Mikeyyy says:

        History repeats itself. Aka zherdev. Tied for team lead in points and they let him walk.

        • Spozo says:

          And that one statement is the only thing that zherdev and Stepan have in common. Two completely different players under completely different circumstances.

        • JimBob says:

          And where is Zherdev today ?

      • scrangersfan says:

        If I was Stepan, I would hold out until they paid me or trade me.

    • JimBob says:

      I agree trade him to some lowly team and play Lindberg / Kristo

    • cv19 says:

      Mikeyyy, Which one of those players makes Stepan expendable?

      • Mikeyyy says:

        If they keep playing the way they are…both.

        I’m taking the quote clean slate and talent has no age as a sign that the youth will get a serious look.

        Trending the way it is, kristo, Lindbergh and fast have big chances of making the team.

        Lets see how preseason plays out. As the games get faster, which guys look out of place.

        • cv19 says:

          I think you seriously underrate Stepan. He wins wherever he goes and he gets better every year.

  4. Seahorse says:

    This is the definition of irresponsible rumormongering by Dreger. his sources site the cap hits not that Sather is willing to let step sit or that step will hold out season games

  5. Bloomer says:

    Who knows what goes on behind closed door in negotiations. Bottom line Stephan doesn’t have to play if he doesn’t want too and the Rangers don’t have to pay him more then then they want too. Scratch him off the list and let’s get on with the season.

    • JimBob says:

      I agree Bloomer….let him sit then trade him or not match an offer sheet…the return is draft picks with at least a #1 coming….also, a Lindberg, kristo, or other can play….finally, you get a player that wants to be a Ranger not a greedy player who as everyone here says – has NO negotiating power – regardless of whether he says he wants to be a Ranger. His greed could cost anoher player(team mate)a job….greed over a measly $250,000 (assuming they split the gap)

  6. Ray says:

    Assuming Stepan signs at all, he is going to be way underpaid. The Rangers would have given him the same deal they gave McDonagh except for cap considerations. The argument is about just how badly underpaid. Both sides are fighting over the same dollars. Derek Stepan is not a villain. If a player lets an organization walk all over him, he will.

  7. Bloomer says:

    I think Ray…. Stephan is getting bad advice by his agent. Its a shame but he will learn a hard lesson.