Sep 19, 2013, 1:28 PM EDT
It appears Derek Stepan‘s contract dispute with the Rangers will spill into the regular season.
Stepan, New York’s leading scorer last year, is “unlikely” to be on the team’s roster when it opens in Phoenix on Oct. 3, according to TSN’s Darren Dreger.
Here’s more, from the latest installment of the Dreger report:
Sources say that Stepan remains locked on a bridge deal that would pay him $3.5 million per year, while New York would happily sign off on a two-year agreement at $3 million per.
Doesn’t sound like much, but cap teams like the Rangers are crunching every dollar to comply.
While the Rangers see a great future in Stepan, they also like their depth up the middle with Brad Richards, Derick Brassard, Brian Boyle and Dominic Moore.
It’s not surprising to learn long-term contracts are off the table and only a bridge deal is in play.
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.
The big difference with Stepan, though, is that he’s looking for $7 million guaranteed.
Of course, Stepan is in a different situation than his fellow RFAs.
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 also projects to be New York’s No. 1 center this year, regardless of how much the club likes its depth down the middle.
- Habs sign Petry to a six-year, $33 million extension 13
- ‘Home-grown talent’ a staple of Blackhawks and Lightning 4
- A holdover from the ‘dark days,’ does Sharp have a future in Chicago? 36
- Bishop: ‘Taller guys…can be just as athletic as the smaller guys’ 6
- Tire pump? Yzerman says Toews is ‘bigger, stronger, better’ than he was 17
- Devils officially announce John Hynes, becomes youngest NHL coach 9
- PHT arrives in Tampa, gets soaked (oh, and today is Media Day) 6
- Ex-Leafs goalie Pogge eyeing North American return 5
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? 86
- Zuccarello (brain contusion, skull fracture) was unable to speak after injury 28
- ‘Hawks rise to occasion in Game 7, head to SCF for third time in six years (95)
- Poll: Should the Ducks fire Boudreau? (86)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (76)
- Is it fair to hold cap teams to old dynasty standards? (74)
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win (65)