May 6, 2013; New York, NY, USA; Washington Capitals center Jay Beagle (83) and New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) battle for the puck in game three of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Should we Compare Adam Henrique to Derek Stepan?


Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, we saw the news that the New Jersey Devils signed Adam Henrique to a 6 year, $24 million deal, which will pay him $4 million annually. This has sparked some unnecessary controversy by Ranger fans as we still sit and wait for Derek Stepan to get signed.

Hold on, slow yourself down, listen to the new Eminem single “Berzerk”, and breathe. It’s going to be ok. Adam Henrique will continue to decline as he has no one really to play with as both Parise and Kovalchuk have bolted away from the Devils. He’ll be the teams second or third line center at best. Because you have Zajac, and Zubrus who are better than he is. Lou resigned Henrique because he’s young and the team wants to grow around him. $24 million seems like a lot for someone who was only projected in an 82 game season to finish with 35-40 points. That is not for the money.  As we all know Stepan was on pace for a 75-80 point season last year, and he has improved year in and year out.

Does this piss Stepan off? Probably, but don’t be so sure. Sather has stated that he gives bridge deals to all his younger players, which is true before signing them up long term. He doesn’t want to be in a situation where he signs a young player long term, after a good season for him to only falter and slow down in production. Not saying Stepan will do that, but, Sather rather be safe than sorry.

Stepan, will more than likely center Carl Hagelin and Ryan Callahan when they return from injury, or we could see him reunite with Rick Nash and Chris Kreider, something that former Ranger coach John Tortorella tinkered with during the second round series with  Boston. Either way, we saw no matter who he is with, Stepan makes anyone better due to his vision on the ice, and his play making ability.

I’m not worried about Stepan not getting signed yet. I was originally in fear of an offer sheet. But that has yet to happen, and I don’t magically see it happening from now up to training camp. Like staff writer Matthew Josephs said Sunday, Derek Stepan will get signed. There’s no reason to worry, and there is no reason for Stepan to be angry at Henrique’s contract. In the end the Devils might be the one eating that deal.

Time will tell on both sides, but it’s not looking good, if he continues to produce at the level he did during his sophomore season.

Tags: Adam Henrique Contract Talks Derek Stepan NHL Offseason Rangers

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  • Centerman

    Stepan is by far the better and more rounded player. Henrique is a product of the star power he had around him. Without star wingers on the team, Henrique will not be worth 4 mil per. He is not a playmaker at all. He can’t make guys around him better like Stepan does. I thought Stepan should get about what Henrique did. Even if only for 2 years. I think it gets done. These things are about deadlines. This one likely happens to be the start of training camp Sept 11. Both sides are waiting for the other to blink.