The New York Rangers‘ most valuable player this season by far has been winger Mats Zuccarello. I do not think there is any debating of that. For a player who no one thought was even going to make the team, or last on the starting roster this season, he is currently leading the team in goals with 15 and points with 43.
However, I have talked about Zuccarello and his success this season far too much, so since I’ve talked about the most valuable player on the Rangers’ roster, how about now for the least valuable player this season for the Rangers?
That infamous honor goes to the Rangers’ supposed No. 1 center Derek Stepan, who continues to have the worst season in his young career, all after holding out of training camp due to wanting more money. Well luckily for the Rangers, Stepan was a restricted free agent and did not have any leverage in the situation and was forced to take the deal Rangers GM Glen Sather was offering him, which ended up being a two-year contract worth $3.075 million per season.
After making such a big stink about how he deserved a long-term contract, he has followed up his words by showing us fans and the Rangers’ organization just why he was not worth any type of long-term commitment.
Now keep in mind, Stepan is technically the Rangers No. 1 center, yet through 60 games has scored 10 goals and 26 assists equaling a total amount of 36 points. This simply is atrocious for a player who the Rangers have big expectations for and thinks so highly of himself.
Yesterday afternoon’s game against the Philadelphia Flyers was no different as Stepan was invisible throughout. As a matter of fact, the only time he was actually noticeable was when he made a terrible pass to Rick Nash who was then able to adjust, play it off the boards and fire a pass to Chris Kreider for a redirection goal.
There is no arguing that Stepan has been the most disappointing player for the Rangers this season and that is why I have him as the team’s last valuable player on the 2013-14 NHL season.