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Sather: Stepan not ‘big enough of a fool’ to let contract stalemate continue

Sep 23, 2013, 11:07 PM EDT

derekstepangetty Getty Images

Derek Stepan and the New York Rangers might not be far apart on a new deal money-wise, but the negotiations between the restricted free agent’s reps and GM Glen Sather seem pretty tense.

At least, that’s certainly the vibe Sather gave off during an MSG interview, which ESPN’s Katie Strang transcribed:

“I hope he starts to get a little wiser about this decision,” Sather said Monday. “It’s unfortunate that Derek has decided to listen to his agent. I don’t think Derek’s going to let this linger too long. I don’t think he’s big enough of a fool …”

Well, wow.

That’s quite the frank way to discuss a 23-year-old forward who just had a breakthrough 2013 season (44 points in 48 regular season games).

Reports indicate Stepan is unlikely to begin the regular season with a contract, even though the difference seems relatively slim at $600K per year.

Looking at some of the bloated contracts in the Rangers salary structure, one might believe that Stepan has every right to ask for big money. Sather has developed a knack for driving hard bargains with quality RFAs, however; his staff managed to sign the likes of Carl Hagelin, Marc Staal and Ryan Callahan to relative bargains with regularity.

These situations usually blow over once the ink dries on fresh deals, although Sather would be wise to avoid an estranged scenario like the Colorado Avalanche experienced with Ryan O’Reilly last year.

  1. earpaniac - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:20 PM

    This is why RFA is a joke. You’re telling me not ONE of these RFAs were wanted by another team? Of course they were. But the other teams know, like Edmonton, rthat the team that holds the RFA is just going to match & use the offer sheet team to negotiate the contract. And as the NFl found out when the Vikings had it written into Steve Hutchinson’s contract that the contract doubled if he played more than 3games a year in WA or whatever it was, you can’t allow poison pills. Just get rid of RFA, or call it something else. It can’t be more than 1-2 a year at most that aren’t matched.

  2. 19to77 - Sep 23, 2013 at 11:41 PM

    “I’m angry a player won’t take my deal, so I’m going to insult him in public. That’ll bring him to the table.”

    Brilliant, Glen.

    • broadstreetsbaddest88 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:07 AM

      Hahaha right, Well put. What an a**hole. I never like sather. He’s willing to hand gaborik and Gomez almost over 7 million but lowball the hell outta his franchise RFA’s. Just give him the 3.5 million. I’d say that’s money well spent for your 1st line center and leading scorer whose only gonna be a bargain at that price considering he’s only gettin better.

    • ntvd7 - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:25 PM

      Seriously, it’s like insulting a girl into making out with you

  3. mcphillthy - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:22 AM

    Now I see why Lundquist has doubts about this place. Sather needs to get his s#!t together.

  4. 950003cups - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:01 AM

    Good job Glenny Boy! That’ll put him in his place. Goons and 4th liners like Stepan, have zero negotiating leverage.

    He’ll be a Devil in a week! LOL.

    • nj666 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:03 PM


  5. cliffatola - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:53 AM

    From what I recall the owners wanted 5 year entry level contracts in the last lockout. If they were to have gotten it we wouldn’t be seeing this stuff, it would give them a clearer picture of the talent they drafted and developed instead of the player and agent trying to force them to cough up big money after one or maybe two good years. These two year bridge deals are going to be the norm until the CBA expires. Stepan is coming off of his ELC, he has no arbitration rights and if memory serves another team cannot attempt an offer sheet unfortunately for him the Rangers have the upper hand here so he ought to just sign it and report. I wouldn’t say he is a fool just not getting the big picture here.

  6. eggserino - Sep 24, 2013 at 6:22 AM

    Compare this to the Blues/ Pietrangelo negotiations? Sather sounds like such a clown bag.

  7. takingbovadasmoney - Sep 24, 2013 at 7:18 AM

    Stepan said “oh Sather will see just how stupid I am.”

    • 19to77 - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:40 PM

      “Hey, Toronto? I heard you were looking for a real #1 centre… yeah. Yeah, that sounds excellent. Seven million? Fantastic. Done.”

  8. stepanup - Sep 24, 2013 at 8:44 AM

    Sather’s off the reservation. Rangers need a new GM before they screw up everything they’ve built for.

  9. moarjam - Sep 24, 2013 at 10:02 AM

    I am far FAR from a Sather fan but he’s right. Stepan is being a fool here. He has no leverage. It sucks. He should make more but it doesn’t change the fact that he will make whatever Sather tells him he will.

    Its no different than any other corporation in this country. How many 30 year old hotshot lawyers do you see being made a partner? None. They make them work for it. Sign the bridge and get paid in two years.

    • nj666 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:05 PM

      Even if he is right, he is a pompous fool to publicly say those things.

    • mcphillthy - Sep 24, 2013 at 1:05 PM

      He may be right but you don’t bully one of your brightest talents into taking the deal you force onto him then go to the media and call him a fool. That is bad management right there. Situations like this can leave a bad taste with the players going forward. PK subban is going to be a great example when he burns Montreal on his next contract. These GMs have the power in situations like this but they better be careful with how they use their power…. It will haunt them in the not too distant future when its time for the next contract and the players have more leeway

      • moarjam - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:01 PM

        I don’t know but I feel the time for bullying has come.

        Stepan knows the situation he is in. I get that he’s trying to get make as much as he can. That’s his right. Buts it not happening. Someone has got to let him know that.

      • mcphillthy - Sep 24, 2013 at 3:21 PM

        I agree with your point as well. It’s a bad situation for both the player and the organization. Sather is known for paying too much for outside talent then under paying his home grown talent. I’m a flyers fan so I see it with Holmgren too. This seems to be the trend lately though. All these young kids want big money after one or two good or even decent seasons. I don’t know who started this trend but it seems pretty common lately. The GMs are either going to pay less and gamble on the kids or pay a lot more after a bridge contract. What a tough situation to be in for a GM. Either way Sather has an unhappy stepan and a potentially unhappy Lundquist. It’s not looking good for Sather right now

  10. capsfan19 - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    Wow…one of the best o guys on the team and gets thrown under the bus! Ha welcome to the new york rangers!

  11. DED - Sep 24, 2013 at 12:33 PM

    At this point, it’s a question of who’s going to blink first. Unless Dolan puts pressure on Sather, which I don’t believe he will, it’s gonna be Stepan. Does Step really want to let his skills atrophy and jeopardize his career? Ignore your agent, Step; take the money. In two years, you can stick it to Sather or walk.

  12. sportsfan69 - Sep 24, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    I agree with Glann Sather. The players do not run the team. Sign your deal and be done with it. You have no further leverage in the negotiations.

  13. ironpeddler255 - Sep 25, 2013 at 7:33 PM

    Not that I’m supporting Sather here, but don’t you think he had a reason to say what he did? We can call him a lot of things, but stupid isn’t one of them. He’s not being a bully here, he’s just saying it like it is. What needs to be taught is PATIENTS.

    You give a ton of money to a kid and look what happens…in MLB, the NFL, and especially in the NBA. These NHL kids will make their money after paying their dues like the rest of us did in the business world….regardless of the athletes lifespan…because we all have a lifespan no matter what we do!

    I’m sure some terse comments were made on Stephan’s side that provoked Sather’s response.

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