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Sather says Rangers, Stepan ‘too far apart’ on money

Sep 12, 2013, 2:30 PM EDT

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Talks are ongoing between Rangers GM Glen Sather and unsigned RFA Derek Stepan, but the two sides still aren’t close to a deal.

On Thursday, the second straight day Stepan wasn’t at training camp, Sather told ESPN New York that Stepan was open to the idea of a two-year bridge deal, but that the two sides are “too far apart” on money.

It’s not surprising Stepan’s been offered the bridge deal — a short-term contract many young players sign once their entry-level deal expires.

New York stood firm on one during negotiations with Michael Del Zotto (which he ultimately signed) and the bridge contract has been popping up more and more lately, a byproduct of the reduced salary cap.

Toronto forward Nazem Kadri signed one — a two-year, $5.8 million deal — as did Phoenix’s Mikkel Boedker (two years, $5.1 million) and Washington’s Marcus Johansson (two years, $4 million).

Stepan, though, is in a bit of a different situation.

At 23, he’s already played three full seasons (or two-and-a-half, depending on how you classify the shortened season) and 37 playoff games.

He led the Rangers in scoring last year and projects to be the club’s No. 1 center this season, barring a miraculous bounce-back from Brad Richards.

As such, Stepan could be looking for a long-term deal like the ones signed by Cody Hodgson (six years, $25.5 million) or Adam Henrique (six years, $24 million) — or, fellow Rangers teammate Ryan McDonagh.

Good luck getting that out of Sather, though.

“I am not going to give a long-term contract at this stage and he is a good player, a smart player, a good team guy,” Sather said of Stepan earlier this summer. “There is certainly nothing wrong with him, but you need to wait a little while before you get the big bucks.”

  1. ntvd7 - Sep 12, 2013 at 3:13 PM

    Heart, soul, guts

    Sign this guy before someone else takes him…

  2. lbeezyse - Sep 12, 2013 at 4:13 PM

    How is it that Sather won’t pay a highly touted #1 center (those guys don’t grow on trees), but will pay mega bucks for Richards, Gaborik, (who was that D-man they gave all that $ to?), Gomez?, & others? I think the kid has proven himself & if you could lock him up for 6 years at $30 mil it’s a steal imo. Wild fan here, but this doesn’t make sense to me what Sather is doing. I’d take him on a 6/30 deal in a heartbeat.

    • withseidelinn - Sep 12, 2013 at 4:16 PM

      They don’t have the room for 6/30. They need him to take a bridge deal to stay cap compliant.

  3. gmenfan1982 - Sep 12, 2013 at 4:54 PM

    C’mon Stepan. Give a hometown discount for the great organization you play for. Sign a bridge deal and you will get your bigger contract when the cap rises.

    • buckyblackhawk - Sep 12, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      C’mon, hometown discount after 2 years on an entry deal? He wants to get paid and deserves it. Can you really blame him? Will any teams put in an offer sheet on him?

      • hockeydon10 - Sep 13, 2013 at 8:34 AM

        I’ve often wondered about this. He’s open to a bridge deal and wants X dollars.

        What’s to stop some bottom half team with the money from offering him a 2 year deal for the money he wants? Then Sather either has to give him that amount or lose an established player.

        Is there something in the rules prohibiting this or is it more of the ‘old boys network’?

      • 950003cups - Sep 13, 2013 at 3:02 PM

        @hockeydon10

        What stops teams from doing this is something in the CBA called “COMPENSATION”. If you sign an RFA to an offer sheet, and the team he is currently on refuses to match it, the team ho gave the offer sheet will get their man, but also give up compensation. Which varies depending on the amount of the offer sheet. Here are the compensation payouts based on yearly average salary (aka CAP)

        A) $1,110,249 or below – No Compensation

        B) Over $1,110,249 to $1,682,194 – 3rd round pick

        C) Over $1,682,194 to $3,364,391 – 2nd round pick

        D) Over $3,364,391 to $5,046,585 – 1st round pick, 3rd

        E) Over $5,046,585 to $6,728,781 – 1st round pick, 2nd, 3rd

        F) Over $6,728,781 To $8,410,976 – Two 1st Round Picks, 2nd, 3rd

        G) Over $8,410,976 – Four 1st Round Picks

        So, in Stepan’s case, a team would have to offer him #E for the rangers to balk at the contract, thus awarding them a 1st, 2nd, and a 3rd round pick. That’s a hefty price tag.

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 12, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      Let us know when you take a hometown discount at your job

  4. cameltoews - Sep 12, 2013 at 7:55 PM

    No one is going to offer sheet him bc the rangers will match regardless even if that means trades an putting guys in the minors. Also, next year as well as the coming years the rangers will have enough room and money to screw the team that tried to give Step an offer sheet.

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