The Derek Stepan Contract Situation
Because you can never beat a dead horse, and after various opinions from this blog (and many other Ranger related blogs on the
internet), we do know that a deal is going to get done.
But, when? We all thought Derek would sign by now, that we would see him skating with Rick Nash, Ryan Callahan, reuniting and joking with former World Juniors teammate Danny Kristo, and trying to score a goal on Henrik Lundqvist during team drills. But this has yet to happen.
And who is to blame? Sure we can blame Glen Sather as much as we want, but he’s playing it right. He’s done this with all RFAs when they finish their entry level deals. Did this will Callahan, so on and so forth. Derek is coming off his best season in his young NHL career, and doesn’t want to risk signing him to a long term deal if he’s already peaked in his career.
Do I think Stepan has peaked? Of course not, but from a business standpoint and how the league is now driven by making sure teams are under the salary cap, Sather being wiry of making sure he’s not too far over the cap is doing whatever he can.
At the same time, you have to understand where Stepan and is agents are coming from. During break up day at the end of last season, Stepan talked about wanting to be a Ranger for life. You know where his heart is, so you have to believe he knows that he wants to be a Ranger, but the price has to be right.
Don’t expect this to get too far into training camp, he’ll be gone — for at least a week, and everyone, including Derek, will be happy to be back.