Archive for Offseason

derek stepan

Stepan (Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)

Derek Stepan signed yesterday, as new GM Jeff Gorton fit the final piece of the offseason puzzle into place. Stepan’s deal came in at six years, $39 million ($6.5 million cap hit). The deal has a full no trade for the first four years, and then a limited no trade for the final two (I believe). Stepan has a no-move clause throughout, meaning he can’t be sent to the AHL.

  • This is a solid deal for both sides. There is no doubt that Stepan left money on the table, probably about $300k per year, or $1.8 million total. That’s no small amount. The deal fits under the cap for this year and in the future, and locks up their 1C through age 31. As for Stepan, he ensures he gets at least one more big payday when this contract expires.
  • A few folks have issues with the length of the deal, but I don’t quite understand that. If Stepan were 30, then I would understand. But the kid is 25, and this deal locks up his prime years. The decline starts in the mid-30s, not the mid-20s.

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Rangers elect one-year arbitration award

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Just a quick update on the Derek Stepan arbitration process: The Rangers have elected a one-year arbitration award for Stepan. If this goes to arbitration, Stepan will get a one-year deal, meaning he will be an RFA next year as well. This isn’t all that surprising, as it ensures the Rangers get one more crack at a long term deal.

Again, this likely isn’t getting to arbitration. I’m expecting both sides to come to terms this afternoon.  The Rangers submitted a $5.2 million offer, while Stepan submitted $7.25 million. Since the numbers are pretty close in arbitration, it’s a fair assumption that both sides are close.

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derek stepan

Stepan (Photo: AP)

Derek Stepan’s arbitration date is tomorrow, and he will be the talk of Rangerland until the day he signs. So here are some things to expect to hear over the next two days.

1. Everyone will flip out over Stepan’s asking price.

Stepan is asking for $7.25 million in arbitration. Insert rage here.

In reality, Stepan’s asking price is actually reasonable. He’s worth more than that on the open market, but for some reason people have an aversion to signing homegrown players to large contracts. The kid is 25 years old and was on a 66 point pace over a full 82 games. He did this while dragging around a 41-year-old and clearly lost it Martin St. Louis on his line.

2. No one will have an issue with the Rangers’ price.

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Sather to be honoured by the Oilers

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The Edmonton Oilers have announced that they will raise a banner at Rexall Place to honour current Rangers President and now former Rangers general manager Glen Sather. Sather was, of course, the architect behind the Oilers dynasty in the 80’s.

The ceremony will take place on Dec. 11 before the game the same night against the Rangers. Sather coached the Oilers to four Stanley Cup championships. Sather has obviously been a polarizing figure for Rangers fans but no one can deny the impact he had on the Oilers so the banner raising is certainly well deserved.


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What about Alex Semin?

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Alex Semin


The Rangers appear to be done for the summer, with just Derek Stepan the lone remaining checkbox on new GM Jeff Gorton’s list of to-dos. But there are always little moves that can be done to improve the roster, and one of those moves could be bringing in free agent winger Alex Semin on the cheap.

Semin was just bought out of the last three years of his deal in Carolina, a deal that paid him $7 million a year. The buyout will pay him $2.3 million until 2021. Due to this, folks are assuming Semin may be more willing to accept a one-year deal for under $2 million. While this may or may not be true, there is no denying that Semin’s talent at that cost could be a steal.

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Happy Friday, BSB community!  You’ve read the entries, made your choice known, so now it is time to announce the winners of our 2015 Off-Season Plan Contest.  I just wanted to once again take this opportunity to thank everyone who participated.  If you guys and gals have any ideas or suggestions about this contest or any other reader engagement activities, make sure to drop us a line on the side bar.  Without further delay, your winners…

In third place, last year’s champion, Tommy Tabasco! 

In second place, Matt Hamilton!

And your Winner, with a staggering 50% of the final vote: Hatrick Swayze!

Congratulations on a tremendous and very funny piece of work, Hatrick!  Look forward to a guest post from Mr. Swayze in the near future.  Feel free to use this thread to congratulate our finalists, offer up suggestions for Hatrick’s guest post, continue to discuss Chris’ piece from yesterday or any other Ranger related topics.

Although we are starting to hit the dog days of the off-season, keep it locked right here as Derek Stepan’s contract situation heats up and final roster machinations start to come into focus.  Remember, only 66 more days until hockey is back!

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J.T. Miller, Jesper Fast

Fast and Miller

While all the attention lately has been on Derek Stepan and his arbitration hearing, there are three other key RFAs that need to be signed to fill out the roster. Perhaps the most important aspect of signing Emerson Etem, J.T. Miller, and Jesper Fast –who will all be getting bridge deals– is that they are going to be relatively cheap bridge deals, and will help the Rangers stay under the cap.

All three forwards are coming off their entry level deals, and all none of them have much leverage. Miller and Fast didn’t crack the NHL with any regularity until this season when they both found key roles on the Rangers. Etem still hasn’t found a regular role and, despite his talents, has spent a lot of time on the fourth line. That doesn’t make for much bargaining power.

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Derek Stepan’s arbitration date set

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Derek Stepan’s arbitration date has been set for July 27. While it is unlikely that this goes to arbitration, the Rangers and Stepan now have exactly two weeks to get a deal done before that arbitration date. If a deal is not reached, then there will be a one or two year amount given by the arbitrator. The Rangers then have the option of walking away from the awarded amount, making Stepan a free agent. That’s extremely unlikely to happen.

My guess is that this will go to the final hours, and we will probably see a deal during the weekend of July 25/26.

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Analyzing the offseason trades

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Since free agency has begun, there have been some blockbuster trades made around the league that have the potential to drastically change not only the league, but specifically the Metropolitan Division.

Shifts in teams are commonplace, and some of the trades were foreseen due mostly to cap space, but some of these will undoubtedly ensure the Rangers have some preparation to do during training camp. The trades of Phil Kessel, Brandon Saad, TJ Oshie, and, last night, Patrick Sharp are all NHL-News-Alert-on-your-phone worthy. The first three are now menacing the Metro and will be familiar foes against the Rangers come October.

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BSB Offseason Plan Contest: Time to vote

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Today, Justin has been posting the three finalists to the BSB Offseason Plan Contest. You’ve been reading and commenting on the three plans, and now it is time to vote. Here are the three finalists:

Plan 1
Plan 2
Plan 3

Be sure to vote in the poll below, and on the sidebar. Voting will last for one week.

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