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Stepan and Rangers about $600,000 apart on a contract

Sep 22, 2013, 11:23 AM EDT

Derek Stepan Getty Images

The New York Rangers and restricted free agent Derek Stepan still haven’t gotten a new deal worked out. With the Rangers season starting October 3 in Phoenix, time is running short to get him into camp and prepared for the year.

The crazy part here is the two sides aren’t far apart in getting a deal done.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post opines that both sides are losing in these negotiations if they continue to drag, especially when their money demands are close.

Brooks says Stepan is seeking a two-year bridge deal worth $7 million while the Rangers and GM Glen Sather have offered him a two-year deal at just under $6 million but are willing to go to $6.4 million.

A difference of $600,000 separating the two sides from getting a deal done seems like a foolish amount to squabble over, but here we are.

The Rangers have talked about how they’ve liked Brian Boyle‘s play so far in camp and Derick Brassard and Brad Richards have looked stronger, but Stepan is their No. 1 center no matter what.

If the Rangers want to keep pushing Stepan into a corner to get a contract done their way, they might be looking at even tougher negotiations in two years when his next deal ends.

  1. stakex - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    I understand Stepan’s point of view, but he’s going to lose in the end. He has no leverage, and the Rangers cap situation might make it impossible for them to give him what he’s asking.

    He would be smart to just take the deal, catch the end of camp, and make sure he starts the season with the team. I mean, I think he can survive on $3.2 million a year for a couple seasons until he gets a big payday.

    • way2slic - Sep 22, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      They can afford the $3.5 he’s asking. The Rangers have to move 2 players once Stepan is signed to get down to 23 players on the roster. Even if they clear waivers and go to the minors each of those will remove $900k or $925k off the cap. That will give the Rangers $4 million in cap space.

    • ejbigg - Sep 22, 2013 at 2:39 PM

      Yeah I think Sather has made it pretty clear he won’t let the player negotiate these bridge deals. He did the same thing with Callahan, Dubinsky, and Del Zotto.

      I like Stepan, he’s easily worth $3.5 mil per year, but like you said he has no leverage at this point in his career and Sather has the right to set the terms of this contract. Stepan doesn’t.

  2. dueman - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:50 AM

    I wish I lived in world where $600,000 is a foolish amount to squabble over!

    • lowenni - Sep 22, 2013 at 12:07 PM

      To you or me it seems like a lot, but if you’re already going to be making 3 million dollars and that $600,000 is the difference between playing and not playing (and maybe hurting your team or not hurting your team)….does it really matter that much?

      • killerpgh - Sep 22, 2013 at 5:44 PM

        Yeah, it should matter. If the Rangers aren’t willing to go with a long term contract than a player has to protect himself by getting as much as he can. Injuries happen and can effect future earnings. The Rangers foolish if they don’t pay Stepan the extra 300,000 per year he wants.

  3. jaredo10 - Sep 22, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    cut Powe or Pyatt and make it happen

  4. lowenni - Sep 22, 2013 at 12:05 PM

    Is it possible for him to take a one year deal, and then if the Rangers make some cap space available during this season, they sign him to a contract extension worth closer to what he wants now?

  5. mcphillthy - Sep 22, 2013 at 12:18 PM

    Is this a bad sign of things to come for the rangers? First stepan won’t sign bc of 600k and Lundquist hasn’t decided what he wants to do yet either. Are things really that bad up there? I’ve always thought you guys had a strong organization so I assumed players would love to stick around. The Lundquist situation still blows my mind.

    • way2slic - Sep 22, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      I think the want to wait on Lundqvist for 2 reasosn. First they have to make sure they can buy out Richards, (should have done it this year) and they want to see what the cap looks like next year. They have a lot of free agents to sign next year. They currently only have 6 players under contract for next season.

  6. amaleader - Sep 22, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    stepan will sign im not worried hey at least no matter what were not holding together a retirement home like the devils are at prudential center

  7. avfanforlife - Sep 22, 2013 at 1:54 PM

    meet 1/2 way! 300k each and get on with it already – no brainer.

  8. hockeyfan11 - Sep 22, 2013 at 3:09 PM

    IS THIS A JOKE?! You’re a PRO HOCKEY PLAYER!!! Im sorry you’d get paid $6.4m instead of $7m, you should stop PLAYING HOCKEY FOR A LIVING and get a desk job where you can make so much more. Oh wait, thats right, you wouldn’t make more, you wouldn’t even make anywhere near $600,000 in a year, let alone $6.4m!!

    I dont see why or how you complain about making $6.4m when you play hockey for a living. Do they understand that there are about 100,000,000 people that would happily take the $600,000 you’re complaining about to play hockey for a living? $600,000 is even a crazy amount, a family of 6 can make it on $120,000 a year just fine, i think you can live with $6.4m.

    And why do you need $7m?? You don’t pay for sticks, skates, or pads. You pay for you’re huge house that you’re in 3/5 of a year and you’re million dollar car that you drive every once and a while. Thats about it.

    This is just sad.

    • DonkeyStick - Sep 22, 2013 at 5:03 PM

      You feel better?

  9. bigredgoalie - Sep 22, 2013 at 4:07 PM

    Lets not think that we understand these economics.. If his career is two years and has not prepared for his future with education, then 600k would come in handy as about 3 years pay after taxes and agent and attorney fees take half…

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