Skip to content

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.

Latest Posts
  1. B’s re-sign Spooner: two years, $1.9 million

    Jul 1, 2015, 4:06 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    23-year-old had 18 points in 29 games last year.

  2. Green signs with Red Wings — 3 years, $18 million

    Jul 1, 2015, 4:05 PM EDT

    Mike Green Getty Images

    Moves on from Washington, the team that drafted him in 2004.

  3. ‘It’s hard to find players like Phil Kessel’

    Jul 1, 2015, 3:38 PM EDT

    Phil Kessel Getty Images

    Penguins GM considers his new winger in the same class as Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos.

  4. After Preds buyout, Stalberg signs one-year, $1.1M deal with Rangers

    Jul 1, 2015, 3:19 PM EDT

    Viktor Stalberg #25 of the Nashville Predators warms up prior to a game against the Winnipeg Jets at Bridgestone Arena on October 24, 2013 in Nashville, Tennessee.
(October 23, 2013 - Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

    29-year-old forward will look to get his career back on track.

  5. Roundup: Jackman to Preds, Moore to Devils, Parenteau to Leafs

    Jul 1, 2015, 3:04 PM EDT

    Barret Jackman

    Some smaller signings to pass your way…

  6. Saad ‘a bit shocked’ by trade, but ‘looking forward’ to joining Jackets

    Jul 1, 2015, 2:57 PM EDT

    Brandon Saad AP

    Still needs to sign a new deal, but Columbus will match any offer sheet.

  7. PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker

    Jul 1, 2015, 2:30 PM EDT

    Mike Green Getty Images

    All the signings from what promises to be a busy day.

  8. KHLers Burmistrov (Jets), Tikhonov (‘Hawks) make NHL returns

    Jul 1, 2015, 2:06 PM EDT

    Alex Burmistrov AP

    Both spent the last few seasons playing in Russia.

  9. Lightning nab Condra for three years

    Jul 1, 2015, 2:01 PM EDT

    Marc Methot Chris Terry AP

    One of the Senators’ main penalty-killers last season.

  10. Canucks pick up Bartkowski

    Jul 1, 2015, 1:29 PM EDT

    Buffalo Sabres v Boston Bruins Getty Images

    27-year-old never really panned out in Boston.

  11. Coyotes stay busy, ink Downie, Michalek and Lindback

    Jul 1, 2015, 1:22 PM EDT

    Steve Downie Getty Images

    Having already signed former Canuck Brad Richardson.

  12. Avs sign ‘versatile, dependable’ Comeau to three-year, $7.2M deal

    Jul 1, 2015, 1:11 PM EDT

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Pittsburgh Penguins Getty Images

    Nice raise after playing for $700,000 in Pittsburgh last season.

  13. Blockbuster: Kessel traded to the Penguins

    Jul 1, 2015, 1:08 PM EDT

    150701-Phil-Kessel Getty Images

    End of an era in Toronto. A premier goal-scoring winger heads to Pittsburgh.

  14. Blues re-sign Lehtera: three years, $14.1 million

    Jul 1, 2015, 1:07 PM EDT

    Jori Lehtera Getty Images

    Finnish forward coming off a strong first season in St. Louis.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. D. Hamilton (2380)
  2. M. Richards (2342)
  3. C. Talbot (2073)
  4. R. O'Reilly (1967)
  5. S. Gagner (1903)
  1. A. Niemi (1768)
  2. E. Etem (1736)
  3. R. Lehner (1695)
  4. M. Lucic (1609)
  5. C. Pronger (1509)