Apr 27, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers right wing Mats Zuccarello (36) handles the puck against the New Jersey Devils during the secdond period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

No Reason To Worry About Stepan And Zuccarello

May 25, 2013; Boston, MA, USA; New York Rangers forward Derek Stepan (21) faces off against Boston Bruins forward Chris Kelly (23) in game five of the second round of the 2013 Stanley Cup Playoffs at TD Garden. Mandatory Credit: Michael Ivins-USA TODAY Sports

The Derek Stepan deal is coming. That much I am sure about. Now it’s just a matter of figuring out which contract would be best. Would a bridge deal be the best option for Stepan? Perhaps. I love Stepan as a 2nd line center and I think on a very good team that will be his role. But I do think the best option in terms of a new Stepan contract would to be giving him Claude Giroux’s 2nd contract. Somewhere along the lines of 3 years $3.75 million a season. That I think would satisfy all parties. I see Stepan being similar to Travis Zajac of the Devils (pre disastrous 2010-11 Devils campaign and 2011-12 season injury Zajac specifically) in that he can compliment a top center but not really be the one to drive the offense. I see Stepan as a solid 60 points or more player a season. Not bad at all on a competitive team.

Mats Zuccarello is another situation I think comes down to just getting the dollar amount right. They’re very close to doing that. I really think the difference is just somewhere in the range of $200,000 a season or something relatively minor given the length of the deal. I know Zuccarello doesn’t have a ton of fans in blue but I’m one of them and I think even though he may not be here for the long term, in the short term he’s very much apart of the team and is very important. He at the very least will be the bridge to our younger kids like Fast, St. Croix, Nieves, etc, etc, if they ever make it. I think he has solid 20/20 potential and can help our secondary scoring.

So folks there’s really no reason to panic. Just let the days roll by and one day they’ll have new contracts. Also be sure to be voting for the best Ranger player post 2005 lockout over on Blueseatblogs.com. I devised the bracket myself and hopefully all of you can take part. Some of the rounds of voting will take place on here in the near future so that will be nice.

Be sure to follow me on twitter @11Matt_Josephs8

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