Derek Stepan will sign a new contract with the Rangers. That much is inevitable. But I can tell you one thing, Stepan won’t like the contract he gets.
He’s going to be paid handsomely for sure, but Stepan will still probably feel he’s being cheated out of some cash. I bet most players feel they should be earning a little bit more money.
But for Stepan though, there’s absolutely no way he’s going to get the money or years on the contract he desires. It’s just not going to happen for a few reasons but there are a couple reasons why it definitely won’t happen.
For one thing this is Stepan’s first contract after his entry level deal. He has no right to arbitration. Sather can really hold out for as long as he pleases. Even if Stepan holds out like Brandon Dubinsky did not too long ago, Sather’s not going to budge. I don’t think Sather’s really given out a bad contract to a player coming off his entry level deal. Don’t expect that to change under his reign.
The second reason is that it’d be crazy to make a four or five year investment in Derek Stepan at this moment. Stepan’s established himself in the team for sure, but now he needs to prove his consistency. He did very well in the shortened season last year, but now over the next two seasons he has to prove to everyone he can build off this past season.
It’s in Stepan’s best interest right now to accept a two year bridge deal and get the most he can in terms of money. Then he can go out and play the next two years and prove his worth. He can get an even better contract than he’s looking for now if he proves his consistency. Between the UFA years and numbers he’ll put up, Stepan could become very paid in the upwards of five million a season.
This isn’t the contract Derek Stepan wants to get right. It’s the one after this one that’s way more important.
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