It was confirmed to everyone earlier today that Derek Stepan will not attend training camp, which, by the way, starts tomorrow, all because he does not have a current contract with the New York Rangers.
Stepan’s agent also said that a new contract for him is not imminent.
What is Rangers’ GM for life Glen Sather smoking in those cigars? Didn’t he know this was going to happen?
Stepan is the Rangers’ No. 1 center. It looks like they will play the entire preseason without him, and possibly even the start of this upcoming regular season.
That’s all the Rangers need.
If a nine game road trip to start the season, plus the injuries to captain Ryan Callahan and forward Carl Hagelin, who both could miss as much of the first month of the season, weren’t enough, now Stepan might not be available to play.
Now, according to reports, Stepan is looking for a five or six year deal worth $5 million per season, which is too much if you ask me, or anyone for that matter. Sather wants to give Stepan a two year deal worth somewhere in the $2.75-3 million per year range.
Some will totally put the blame on Stepan and his agent for this, but I am putting this on the shoulders of good ole Sather. Why you ask?
Well maybe, just maybe, the negotiations would be going a lot smoother and a deal could have been reached already if the Rangers had more leeway with the salary cap by buying Brad Richards out of his contract, like everyone thought he was going to be. Because he wasn’t bought out, however, the Rangers have a measly $2.181 million to work with, which is not going to get anything done.
The Rangers looked to have a promising season ahead of them in 2013-14, but now it looks as if it may be coming to a screeching halt. Hopefully a deal with Stepan, and then Henrik Lundqvist, can be reached as soon as possible, and the good feelings I once had about this season can return.