Should the Rangers Trade Derek Stepan?

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Hey folks, and welcome to a new weekly series where we’ll take a look at potential trade candidates on the Rangers roster and explore the reasons for and against trading them this offseason.  Of course, the case for making a trade is inherently dependent on the value of the return, but this column won’t speculate on that.  Instead, I’ll focus on the merits of the individual player himself in a fun (and dare I say, hot take-ish) way.  It should also make for some interesting debate in the comments.  So, here goes:

Yes, the Rangers should trade Derek Stepan

After seven years, everyone knows what Derek Stepan brings to the table.  And while it’s true that two-way, 55-point centers don’t grow on trees, the Rangers are fortunate to have an additional two (potentially) on their roster already, in Kevin Hayes and Mika Zibanejad.  Both of those players, if deployed correctly, could more than make up for Stepan’s production if the Rangers deal the center.

From a tactics perspective, Stepan’s lack of speed renders him a poor fit for Alain Vigneault’s up-tempo system.  It’s also not unfair to argue that while his 5-on-5 play merits the designation “No. 1 center”, Stepan’s power play production (a fair thing to look at when assessing value at center) leaves a lot to be desired.  Without getting too granular, Stepan is nowhere near as productive as the other bona fide top centers in the NHL.  His 14 power play assists last season were a career high, but that number was good enough for just 25th among forwards (well behind brand names like Backstrom and Giroux, but also trailing players such as Mikko Koivu and Ryan Spooner)

Lastly, it’s very likely that the Rangers have already seen the best of Stepan.  As crazy as that sounds with a player entering his age-27 season, it’s true.  Over at, @EvolvingWild looked at player aging (read the whole article, because I am being very general here) and concluded that skaters peak around age 24-25 and gradually decline after that.

Given all of the above, plus the Rangers’ glaring need on defense, it seems like a no-brainer for the Rangers to trade their homegrown alternate captain.

Are you crazy? Of course the Rangers shouldn’t trade Derek Stepan!

Jeff Gorton retooled the forwards last summer, putting the Rangers in position to become true contenders again quickly, provided they address the defense.  That forward depth was on full display this season, and Derek Stepan played a crucial role in his team’s success.  When Alain Vigneault gets his deployment right, the Rangers can overwhelm opponents with four lines of skill, capable of creating more scoring chances than their opponent on a consistent basis.

Stepan is a hugely important piece of that puzzle, particularly because of his ability to handle difficult matchups on a nightly basis while remaining very productive.  Stepan’s CF% of 50.7 and CFrel of 3.0 were both third-best on the Rangers this past season among players who played 750 minutes or more.  That’s no small feat, considering the team’s well-documented possession woes.  Compare this with Kevin Hayes, who did not handle his defensive zone-heavy deployment well at all (43.1 CF%, -5.1 rel), proving that he’s likely not meant to be deployed in a true two-way role.

But besides the often polarizing #fancystats argument, trading Stepan would simply leave the Rangers short.  Sure, they could plug the hole temporarily in free agency, but with a lack of draft picks on the horizon, the center position could become a serious weakness quickly.  Because of that fact, the Rangers should look elsewhere on their roster – they’re still very deep on the wing – in order to find a trading partner.

And now, I turn it over to you, our loyal readers.  Should the Rangers trade Derek Stepan or not?  Get in the comments and let us know why or why not.

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  • For Duchene, Galenchuk, Trouba, Dougie Hamilton, Spurgeon, or Justin Faulk? Yes.

    Otherwise, no.

    Our good friend Reen will say no, just leave him unprotected, lol.

    • No matter what they’re going to use him in a trade this summer or at least I get that feeling.

    • Hey paisan:
      From your shortlist the only realistic scenario, arguably, appears to Spurgeon or Justin Faulk.

      Minnesota’s thin at C; Stepan goes home. Stepan also seems somehow suited to Carolina’s style of play. We have some history with The Canes’ GM.

      But depending on how the Preds closeout, I’d be more keen on D-man Ryan Ellis, plus one of either Fs Austin Watson, or Colin Wilson.

      Get it done, Anthony. I’ll be looking for you at the draft.

      • How is Minnesota thin down the middle? Koivu, E.Staal, Coyle, and Granlund are all natural centers. When they traded for Hanzal he ended up centering their 4th line. I see no reason they move a defenseman for Stepan, if anything they’d want someone expansion exempt. They’re already screwed for the expansion draft.

        • Well played, ’94. You made my point for me.

          Forasmuch, how well did Minnesota’s one-and-a-half centers–driftwood Staal, rapidly declining Koivu and all dangle Granlund–acquit themselves this past playoffs?


      • Hey bro, no can do mon frere. Minny has no cap space and is only trading D men for picks, for which the Wild have less than the Rangers. They are a mess cap wise and cannot take on Stepan’s $6.5M cap hit, UNLESS they get stupid and throw in Neddereiter along with Spurgeon or Dumba.

        They do need a C desperately though. But their cap is a mess.

        • Irie, Anthony. Positive vibrations. I and I.

          But listen. Don’t wear your flip flops, Rasta/One Love tank top or board shorts to the Draft.

          C’mon man, put on a clean shirt. Slacks.

          You’ve sold me on Shattenkirk. Now make a couple depth moves. That said, I’m on-board with your Faulk package, unless you can put together a Ryan Ellis-Watson deal.

          • The key for me about trading Stepan is his replacement. I can see Gorton trading Stepan similar to the Brass/Zib deal which means Duchene or Galenchuk. And then Gorton signs Smith back.

            But what’s the “plus” that would have to go along with Stepan for Duchene? It’s funny because stats wise they are the same player. But just have a discussion between you and I or hockey fans, and it’s pretty clear to all of us that Duchene has a better skillset. Similar to Zib over Brass. IMO.

  • Keep him if you think he may get better
    Dump him if you think this is his ceiling.

    Considering the fast rate of expansion of the NHL , I believe the talent pool has been misevaluated. If this was 1992 -98. Stepan would be a 2nd line center. Because they didn’t have as many teams. Would he even be in an NHL sweater? Vegas just dilutes that pool further. Every team loses a guy and calls up someone who wasn’t able to cut it before but now has a spot.

    • Great point, and they will expand again within the next 2-4 years to balance out the east & west!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • 92-98 is multiple eras.

      Eastern Bloc players didn’t start coming over until 89-90 season as a trickle, then they came in a flood via the 92 draft. The talent pool was still 70% Canucks with Yanks being 20% and the rest being Scandinavians.

      Expansion by 4 teams didn’t dilute the talent pool because of the Eastern Bloc. The league got talented. A guy like Jim Dowd went from a 2nd line C to a 4th liner in 3 years.

      By the time Nashville came around the league was stacked.

      Go forward to today: Canada still has the same number of kids playing hockey, USA enrollment has exploded, talent pool is deeper than ever. Canada is at 46%, USA at 27% You have places like Germany, Slovenia, Austria & Croatia going from 1% of the league to 4%

      The other part is the rapid evolution of goaltending due to equipment changes.

      Step would’ve been a 1st line center at the start of it scoring 35 goals, would be a #2 (and matching current production)by the end of your time frame.

  • he was great in the playoffs when the rangers beat the caps in 2015 not so great the following year and he wasn’t good this year even though he had the empty net goal against Montreal hopefully this next season will be a good one for him he needs to have a good year

  • Trade him in a NY minute. Do not need another NMC on the roster. Get a defense man and/or picks but move him now.

    • lol, Sal, then who are our centers? It’s been proven time and time again that having strong centers helps win Cups. Now if you tell me that the Rangers sign Thornton to a 2 year deal for $4M per then I’m on board. Or if Stepan gets traded for a C upgrade, again, I’m on board.

      • Richter

        Please, please stay away from Jumbo Joe, please!!!!!!!!!!

        The guy is father time, will cost big time money, I don’t see him coming to us for no $4 per, no way. He is slower than Stepan is, why burden his line mates with his inability to skate. Please, rethink this idea, it’s no good man!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Jumbo can still move the puck like very few others in the game. If it’s a 1 or 2 year deal, and cheap, I’m game to bring him in.

          • The metrics are indicating a huge fall coming for Thornton. His metrics were down to the level of his first 3 full seasons in Boston. Even “bad” years he had, his adjusted and per game goals, assists and points and point shares were better than last year.

            He is coming off a significant knee injury and is struggling with, while still fast, slower pace of the Western Conference as compared to the East. That is huge red and yellow flags that should be going off in peoples heads.

        • Disagree bro, put Joe with Nash and see what happens. They have had great chemistry in the past.

          I would be fine with a Zib, Hayes, Thornton, whatever C spots if we get a top D man for Stepan.

          • MCL and ACL damage surgically repaired. Nor was he very effective against Pitt in their finals match up.

            I see it as $4 mil we could spend on younger players

          • Just saw your comment in other thread. I’ll answer here.

            I’d still say no to that third line. I actually think a line of Vesey/Lindberg/ Fast would be a good line. I don’t number them because I prefer all lines to drive the play into the offensive zone.

            I’d be fine with Zib, Stepan, Hayes and Lindberg down middle. im still debating a center I’d like to target. I think Duchesne if trending down. It’s getting close to calling him a bust. I’d almost try a 3 team trade to get Drouin

          • But John, you have to assume that Oscar is gone via the draft. I don’t care what anyone says, the Ranger that LV should pick is Oscar.

            Forget Raanta because he’s barely played a full NHL season FOR HIS CAREER. So how do people say he’s a “#1?” Raanta won’t have Allaire and he will be behind a D that will be even worse than the Rangers. I think that LV goes with the guy in Washington and maybe a “name” goalie to put fannies in the seats.

            Duchene and Stepan are basically the same player, stats wise. Duchene’s stats cannot be relied upon because he’s on an awful team. Maybe the worst in the league. Put him on a better team and maybe he flourishes.

            I would rather have Galenchuk, which would make a Stepan for Galenchuk swap eerily similar to the Brass for Zib swap. I would do that deal in a second.

            Why Drouin? I know, he’s scary talented but he’s also scary period. You think he thrives under a psycho like AV who acts like a pissed off little girl if you rub him the wrong way? How would that play with Jonathan? Not well IMO.

            Trade Staal somehow. Trade KK for a pick. Buyout G. Sign Shatty. Re-sign Smith. Trade Stepan for Galenchuk. Sign Hanzal. I assume we lose Oscar in the draft.



          • Duchene started trending down though around 2012-2013, with 13-14 being an above year, then back down.

            What’s troubling with him is the apparent lack of care. Nathan Mackinnon, no matter how bad Colorado was past two years has played his heart out. Duchene just, gave up. That’s troubling.

            And George McPhee has made some odd and head scratching moves. I agree they should take Lindberg, but I think a back door deal is in the works there for them to pluck Holden.

            Your line up, I’d switch the RWs around. Miller and Hayes get hemmed in their own zone a lot. I’d rather have Nash there. I’d put Zucc with Galy and Buch with Krieder and Zib

          • The Avs blogger on Hockeybuzz trashed Duchene, saying that other teams should not give up that much for him, maybe like a high draft pick but not a player of significance.

            I don’t know, my gut feeling is under the right situation I think Duchene can get some of his past successes back. But it does speak to his character (not in a good way) if he’s not putting out like Mackinnon. Brooks saying that Gorton going for Mackinnon but what would be the trade cost?

  • I tend to agree with the first half of this thread, but you also failed to mention that he has a weak shot, won’t battle on the boards, won’t carry the puck across the attack zone, is soft as jello. Other than that he is a fair center, not even a top half guy when you look at the entire NHL, and their #1 centers. So to describe him as marginal is being gracious at best!!!!!!! Trade him, protect Oscar, and get another 4th line center out of the junk heap, and we’d still be ahead of the game!!!!!!!!!

    • 100% agree Walt,
      Additionally , Stepan seems to have gotten slower and no longer plays good defense, his fear of contact makes him avoid covering anyone in the slot or near the net…..
      Yes, give me a young, faster, physical guy who is hungry and wants to prove himself! JT Miller , with the way he handles the puck and constantly trying to make a play would be a great substitute for Stepan.

      • Hayes would be deserving the first shot to enter the season as the number two center. AV already trusted him so much for the DZ faceoffs and all the important defensive shifts. Let’s be realistic here and know that JT has proved that his game belongs more on the wing especially ever since Hayes got here. He had a couple of games looking like Fishcher when Hayes was out this season and fans act like he’s a official top line center. Don’t forget how the team and him had the worst losing streak while Hayes went. I doubt AV would even allow your idea to happen but at the end of the day I think he believes in Hayes to cover that hole if Stepan gets traded.

        • It could work if we use Z, Hayes, JT, and Oscar as our 4 centers. AV had him killing penalties, and taking FO’s for Daisy, so why not try, it can’t be any worse than what Step is doing, especially for $6.5 per year.

          Now some will get pissed off because of the remark about the $6.5 per year, but lets not forget he held the team hostage when negotiating, so he has to live up to the contract, and he isn’t!!!!!!!!

          • “Now some will get pissed off because of the remark about the $6.5 per year, but lets not forget he held the team hostage when negotiating, so he has to live up to the contract, and he isn’t!!!!!!!!”

            Much like Reen with Gomez, I’m sorry Walt but this is 100% inaccurate.

            Using only Centers who are paid slightly below Stepan to slightly above, or: a Cap hit of $6.3 to $7 mil includes the following centers:
            RelCF%, G/gm, A/gm, Pts/gm, OPs, DPs, Ps
            David Krejci: -0.9%, 0.21, 0.47, 0.68, 3.8, 2.2, 5.9
            Paul Stastny: 0.1%, 0.28, 0.38, 0.66, 4.6, 1.4, 6.0
            Henrik Sedin: 3.2%, 0.18, 0.43, 0.61, 2.9, 1.7, 4.5
            Ryan Kesler: 2%, 0.27, 0.44, 0.71, 4.1, 2.4, 6.5
            Bergeron: 9.7, 0.27, 0.41, 0.67 4.2, 2.5, 6.6
            Joe Thornton: 2.7%, 0.09, 0.54, 0.63, 2.2, 2.1, 4.3
            Mikko Koivu: 0.8%, 0.23, 0.50, 0.73, 4.1, 2.4, 6.6
            Sean Monahan: -0.2%, 0.33, 0.38, 0.71, 5.2, 1.7, 6.9
            Mackinnon: 4.4%, 0.20, 0.45, 0.65, 3.1, 1.7, 4.8

            I can’t clean it up any better sadly.

            Derek Stepan comes in at and would be third to LAST on the cap hit on this list. Everyone from Koivu up is paid more:
            3.7%, 0.21, 0.47, 0.68, 3.8, 2.2, 5.9

            Looking at the per game stats, and the point share stats, Derek Stepan is providing fair market value, and in some cases BETTER market value than his peers.

          • OK John, but he still didn’t get that many more points than our #3, so in this case he is over rated, and over paid for his production. Besides, do the other centers in question skate better, and have better shots, play with some intensity, and all the other negatives Daisy brings to the table. I’m still of the opinion that the guy has to go, the sooner, the better!!!!!!!!

          • I don’t get the moving goal post. I get you don’t like him.

            Do some skate better than him? Sure. Do some skate worse than him? Yes.
            And that applies to every question you asked.

            It’s a no win scenario for any player who plays for the New York Rangers. You only score a few more points than the “third” line center? You’re a bum!! Toss you aside. Or maybe that’s a sign that the scoring on the team is so balanced and therefore a bigger threat for any line to score indication? No we don’t look at it like that.

            It’s conveniently forgotten too, that Derek Stepan had his jaw broken and couldn’t chew solid food, but only missed the rest of one period and if I recall no other time off during the playoffs. But he’s soft. He had his ribs busted and managed to come back early. He’s continually played hurt. But that’s all forgotten cause he’s “soft”.

            No matter what, half the people have their minds completely made up and will not even entertain ANY notion that their bias might be wrong.

            If the right trade is available that will make the team better, trade him. Trading him because “you” think he’s overpaid; because as proven he’s not, soft etc etc and you’ve weakened the team more than any of us will realize until its too late.

          • John

            I am biased against the guy, no doubt about it.

            Having said that, he has too many short comings, and doesn’t make anyone around him any better, like some other centers do.

            As for the money, well he negotiated a deal, hasn’t performed up to expectations, demanded certain terms, but has been a let down. When you make demands, well you had better live up to the standards required for those demands, and he hasn’t. The main issue on his demands is NMC, and I don’t want him around the team, limiting my ability to get better players, while that hangs over my head.

            We are polar opposites on this, OK, but I stand by my guns, he has got to go!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Again Walt, you don’t trade Stepan just for the sake of trading him. There will be enough GMs out there who think he’s worth trading for and will offer up nice packages that might make it worth it.

            It’s 50/50 from what I am hearing, meaning “for the right deal.” But Stepan is being shopped, no doubt about that.

  • Does anyone think it would be possible to trade Stepan and hayes(both slow) to a struggling team like Dallas that needs something changed? 21 and 13 for Seguin sounds fair to me… and we’d finally have a true #1 center

    Kreider Seguin Zuccarello
    Vesey Zibanejad Nash
    Miller Lindberg Buchnevich
    Fast/grabner (ufa) etc

    mcdonagh Shatty
    Skjei smith
    Holden pionk/ufa

      • An what is bad about that. ?? Now compare the numbers an what the salaries are for Krieder an Hayes an Stepan.???

      • Again,

        Kreider was tied for 10th amongst ALL NHL left wings in goals scored. He scored exactly 0.12 less goals per game than the leader in that category. He was in the Top 20 of all LW’s in total scoring. Led all forwards in the NHL in goals tipped in. He’s scored 23 playoff goals. He had one bad post-season, this year.

        Yet this still isn’t good enough?

  • I agree put stephan hayes stall giradi (all speed ) gone . We have a speed team.. Make trades or buyouts with these four.Open up a lot of cap space.

    • Making trades an buyouts.?? How many buyouts do you think you can make.?? Both Staal Girardi no trade clauses. I agree to trade Stepan, not Hayes.

  • When you start comparing Ranger centers presently the first thing that stands out his not the numbers but the money. Stepan has twice gone to the Rangers for holding out for raises an received them. The shoe is on the other foot. He is bad on faceoffs hits no one, an terrrible in the corners. Plus He maybe the slowest center icemen we have on his skates. We cannot afford to pay the money Stepan is getting for a penalty killer anymore. Rangers success is their speed game, an Stepan nis slowing us down. Trade him.

    • Anti Hayes fans= insecure Stepan fans. I agree btw, there’s been this fake narrative that Hayes would cause problems down the road with contract negotiation. He’ll get what’s owed to him and that would be a fair chunk of change because he’s easily the leagues best 3c and was in the top 3 ever since his rookie season. That and doing this on the fly with zero AHL conditioning when switching over to center should be enough to see him play in a bigger role.

      Stepan definitely is a goner this summer and while Hayes should get a chance to reach his full potential during next coming season by taking on a top 6 role.

  • Trade him, before his contract doesn’t allow it. Lacks speed and size, get what they need; big, fast player(s) at forward and/or defense.

    • I think Gorton is going to try and get a 2nd pair name or someone like Faulk in a trade. Hopefully sign Shatty and move the twins out to do a kill shot on revamping the D. They should use the draft pick on a forward this year and move Skjei in the top 4 so if need be the 3rd pair could see limited ice.

      So far Stepan under his 6.5 contract hasn’t done much for the special teams in the last 2 seasons. Under both Mika and Hayes the PP showed life and potential. Then the PK was ranked # 6 for most of the year with Hayes who already posted up franchise records by beating Mess and Leetch. Yeah once again I fully expect Stepan to not be a NYR anymore. I could see AV being good with it, he seems like he’s been team Hayes since the very end

  • Stepan has always been polarizing. Both his play and favor with the fanbase sway up and down. For a player like him, one of the better at his position, but not irreplaceable, I’d trade him now.

    • Yeah expect Hayes to take his 2nd line role, he’s already been replaced in different ways that I saw this coming months ago. I doubt Gorton wants his top paid center being only 6 points away from the 3c.

  • I understand my comment was far fetched…. but I do not see how the rangers can trade Stepan without getting someone to replace him(not hayes, not Lindberg) Stephan is slow yes and so is Hayes. I think a gm of a team that is as bad Dallas might be willing to shake things up if some salary was retained.

    • 1. Dallas isn’t that bad. They were middle of the pack in goal scoring with Jamie Benn playing hurt for a large portion of the season. Dallas LOOKS bad, because they had to goalies that allowed the 2nd most goals against in the NHL.

      2. Dallas is looking to upgrade on the wings and on the back end. They don’t need Derek Stepan because they have 4 center’s.

      As I pointed out in the Minnesota thread, we need to look and see who the other team(s) are playing where and where they are weak. Sadly Dallas offers us nothing that is an improvement on what we already have. Could a trade like Nick Holden or Klein for a 4th and low-end prospect be possible? Maybe, but I think adding in a prospect might be asking for too much. But, that’s more in line of what Dallas needs. Or Holden and Klein for a 4th and mid-range prospect.

    • Stepan can be traded for another C like Duchene or Galenchuk, or if he’s for a D man then they can sign someone like Thornton on a short term deal.

  • Trading steps leaves a big hole up the middle. New York needs to go young and develop their own dmen to improve their blueline.

    • I think it depends on who Vegas takes from us in the expansion draft. If we lose Lindberg, I think Gorts has to think twice about trading Stepan. However, if we lose Fats or Grabner, I see Lindberg moving up to 3C and Gorton either signing a 4C July 1 or keeping Oscar at 4C, and moving Miller to center.

  • Stepan won’t be missed when you trade him for a puck moving, young salary controlled defenseman.

    Just make the deal. Get some balls Gorton. This team needs a shake up, not a tweak. We were like pansy-ass tyros down the stretch. Get us some guys with moxie and life – two traits that Stepan lacks.

    If we come out of this off-season with the pylons and Stepan, Gorton will be a failure.

    • well said my man!!!!!!!!!! these three are like a huge steel ball, and chain on your legs, the way all three skate………..

  • Re: Corsi. Last season Stepan was getting destroyed when AV was putting him against the other team’s top talent when he had the last change. When he gave that assignment to Hayes, Stepan’s corsi recovered(and Hayes’ home corsi cratered.)

    Only place where things make sense is dealing with Carolina. Carolina is $8.4mm below the floor and it will be tough to hit it via free agency. Girardi as 3rd pair would be an upgrade.If the Rangers eat 1/2 the contract(and G waives his NTC) unloading him & Stepan gets them just below the floor and can plug in Fleury or McKeown in the lineup. So what comes back?

    Lots of possibilities, but only 1 choice: Brett Pesce Expansion draft exempt, already 1st pair, righty.

    Obviously, that’s not enough. Pesce & the 11th pick? That might work.

    Carolina now is stacked down the middle and has replacements to plug in on the blue line. The Rangers are no longer handcuffed by 2 contracts, only have to expose Fast, have the luxury of buying out Staal and your defensive rebuild is well underway.

    But you have to get Girardi to waive his NMC. If you don’t/can’t, you got problems.

    • Reen

      Your the solution guy, love the way you think!!!!! Now the question is “can JG get it done”?

      As for asking Girardi to waive his NMC, let him know that if he doesn’t, he’s bought out, end of discussion………….

    • This would be the optimal solution, but at the end of the day I still have no problem exposing Stepan to be rid of the salary and the NTC.

      You give Lindberg the checking role, Hayes the OZ starts and PP time he needs, Fogarty centering the 4th line and the team will be farting through silk.

      • Exposing a player who performs as well as or better than: David Krejci, Paul Statsny, Henrik Sedin, Ryan Kesler, Patrice Bergeron, Joe Thornton, Mikko Koivu, Sean Monahan, and Nathan MacKinnon; and is younger than only Monahan and MacKinnon is the very definition of BAD asset management.

        That’s a whole other level of BAD asset management. That is on a level of so BAD that the New York Football Jets look like a model franchise of asset management. That level makes the Arizona Coyotes look good.

        All over a two year, NMC. Two whole seasons of no movement for a player that is very consistent and the metrics show no sign of drop off.

        Like Richter said. If its for another center who can produce similar and make the team better. Go for it.

        • If I already have a replacement waiting in the wings, the player I’m losing is no longer good at his assignment, he costs big money and by losing him I clear cap space for my buyouts?

          Trade him 1st, but expose him if you must. You’re not getting nothing in return, you’re getting cap room. Ain’t winning with him, might as well reboot.

          I’ve shown prior using the fancy stats to show that Step ain’t what he used to be and fancy stats in general suggest Step is already past his peak production.

          Obviously YMMV.

          PS: For all their losing, Arizona made money last season due to Chayka’s cap management.

          • Past his peak? He’s metrics show that he declined in goals this year. His RelCF% was up, on a bad possession team, his assists and P/60 were on par with his career average to date. He shot a career low 8.1% which dropped his goals down.

            No clue what YMMV means nor do I care. I type everything out so that there isn’t confusion.

            And for all that money they made, how’s their asset management working out towards winning hockey games? I’m sure the owner is incredibly happy they made money. But think of how much more money they could make if they were good at asset management.

            You think Hayes is ready. I have serious doubts about that. And using your suggestion that he’s past his peak, then Hayes is about to plummet even harder cause he’s only a year younger. Yes, he’s barely one year younger than Stepan. So if Stepan has peaked and is declining, that means Hayes has peaked or is at the peak, and is about to decline. And Stepan was better than Hayes. Or are we tossing aside the whole peak thing cause that would run counter to the notion that Hayes would be a better option and is in fact growing?

          • All stats at 5v5 (even strength for those daddy-o’s not hip to the stats lingo)

            At center Stepan is 15th in CPDO, yet 40 players below him produced more points. So not only did he have puck luck in his favor, he didn’t really capitalize it.

            He’s 52nd in CF% with 28 players outscoring him(to be fair some players are listed out of position) and 12 of the subsequent 33 outscoring him.

            His RelCF% is up because AV took him away from the tough matchups. His P60 is 55th at the position.

            You may think Hayes can’t cut it, but even with the defensive role he was saddled with was .07 behind Stepan in P60.

            And none of that matters to me. What matters is Stepan’s salary in relationship to the cap and the buyout numbers for 5 & 18. Not only for this season, but the two seasons after that. Where Tavares & Turris (And Seguin & Duchene the following season)become available. So if I’m largely getting similar production for less money, I’m moving/losing the pricier option.

            Your mileage may vary, but keep playing fancy stat checkers.

          • Honestly, the idea that Stepan is ‘dead cap space’, as much as I don’t like the player, is insanely ridiculous & not based on (previously stated) fact at all.

            And, I don’t care if he had a downward trending season. That is insane. He’s 26, not 33….. He’s also signed for just 3 more years, not 13.

            You can pluck any relatively short period of time from the long career of any given player & find peaks / valleys of performance.

            Trading him for the sake of it is nuts. Trading him for something that makes the team better is not. I’d rather see him in a ranger’s uniform than gone for a 2nd round pick & a free beer voucher.

          • Exactly my point.

            It’s BAD asset management. If the right deal presents itself that makes the Rangers better, you do it.

            Moving for sake of moving, especially for guys who might become available but may not even want to play here, will be older and past the supposed “peak” years as they’re all similar ages to Stepan is insane and the hallmark of a bad organization.

          • Dead cap space is your own idea, not mine.

            I’ve made my pitch on what an optimal solution is and the last choice solution. The least optimal choice is to keep him.

            All I’m reading in response is found wanting in form and substance.

          • Says the person who wants to give up a valuable asset for nothing?

            Your “plan” is to move him because someone “might” be available in a year or so? The chances of Turris, Seguin, or Tavares are available are less than slim to none. Dallas will have the money to resign Seguin and Tavares will not hit the market. Duchene has been getting worse every year, so you want to replace Stepan with a player already trending way down? Turris? You’re betting the farm on one guy. That sounds like something a drunk does in Vegas (no pun intended).

            You also completely disregarded your own theory that Stepan is on the wrong side of a players “peak” to advocate for players who are on that exact same side. Changing the goal post to “mileage”.

            And what you’ve read is wanting in form or substance?

    • Stepan and brother Staal for Faulk, I’ve said this for a month.

      BTW, the prelude to the fact that the Rangers will be signing Shatty? Staal is traded.

      • It’s possible. But I still really don’t see Hurricane ownership taking on that much money for a cost controlled asset. They’re closer to putting the team on the market from rumblings I heard from friends in va beach

        • I don’t think so either but Faulk will be a trade chip for them. The Canes are looking for a vet C, there’s no question about that. They are pretty weak down the middle but have promising wingers. Maybe they take Stepan without Staal.

          Stepan is $6.5M and Faulk is $4.8M, not that much of a difference if there is that need for a C.

          I agree that the Staal add to the trade is far fetched but I can dream can’t I? lol

      • Carolina doesn’t need a LD and the term of Staal’s contract is murder. If they trade Faulk, they’re still under the floor(which, if the cap goes to $76mm as suggested, means the floor is around $57mm instead of $54mm).

        Most of their D beyond Faulk are RFA’s after next season, so they’ll get to the cap floor a lot easier in 2018-19 than this season. Girardi’s term is shorter and if healthy is a nice leadership fit.

        If NYR retains 1/2 salary, when Carolina buys out Girardi they pay $500k/yr (for 2 years) for $1.75mm of cap charges to get to the floor that much easier. The last 2 it matches dollar for dollar. By those last 2 years they won’t be worrying about the floor.

        Like I wrote above: lots of possibilities, only one choice.

        • I keep saying Staal because I’m a dreamer and because Jordan is in Carolina. Probably won’t happen.

          G is more likely to be bought out and Staal is more likely to be traded, of the 2. The prelude to getting Shatty is ridding themselves of Staal. Gorton would like to do that first before signing Shatty but does have the offseason additional cap space if he needs it to buy him some time.

          I’ve heard Shatty is done, they just have to wait, obviously. But moves might start happening next week that will shape the Rangers for next year.

          Another interesting tidbit I heard was Raanta and Stepan for one of the Flames’ Cs. Not a strong rumor but it’s out there.

  • Rangers should trade Stepan
    all the reasons noted, and important one not – cap hit compounded by NMC which would never activate if he is dealt first

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