Since it’s still pre-season, and news is slow, I’m going to try to do a few more thoughts posts like this in the near future before actual games are played.
On Derek Stepan: A deal will get done. I really don’t see this dragging into the season, and if it does that’s great news for a kid like Oscar Lindberg who’s probably dying to get a chance to make an impact. Rangers reportedly want to pay $3 million a season, while Stepan’s allegedly asking for $3.5 million a season. It isn’t rocket science, and there are numbers that fall between $3 and $3.5 million dollars.
I do have to say though that I think what might be affecting this is Stepan is looking at other players signing contracts left an right with less NHL experience than him. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins just signed a huge deal with the Oilers today, and Stepan must be wondering why the Rangers are only willing to give him half of what Nugent-Hopkins will get for a season. It’s gotta be frustrating for him, but Stepan has to realize that the Rangers aren’t even in a position to give Stepan that sort of deal. Really though, if Stepan was on like 20 other teams he’d probably be sitting with a nice fat contract and a long term deal. That’s the reality though of playing for a team that goes close to the cap every single year.
Anyway, back to this Nugent-Hopkins contract. The Oilers are trying to build up like the Blackhawks and sign all their young stars to long term deals. Not a bad way to go about things, but they still don’t really have a defense so that needs to change. Nugent-Hopkins in no way has earned this contract, but from the Oilers standpoint this is sort of something that had to get done.
The jersey tuck rule is something that’s also annoying and should be removed immediately. It is ironic though that Alex Semin was the first victim in this regard. I had a good laugh about that when I heard the news. But seriously though, I don’t get why the league wants everyone to be able to see the entire jersey. Some players have donned that look for a while and quite frankly would just look weird without their jersey tucked in. The greatest player in the league ever tucked his jersey in, and was extremely recognizable doing it. You watch a Capitals game and you immediately notice Ovechkin out there because of his jersey tucked in the back (you also notice him for other things too, but that’s neither here nor there).
If I were a player in the league, I’d try to get everyone to tuck their jersey in as a form of protest. The practice has been done for years, and I don’t get why the league has suddenly decided to crack down on it.
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