Welp, you knew at some point the Derek Stepan/Rangers contract negotiations might start to get ugly and yesterday I think we caught our first glimpse as Glen Sather said this to Larry Brooks at the New York Post...
“We all like Derek and want him here, but I’ve told him that his agent is being unrealistic. We’re just not close at this point.
“When you look at the CBA, without (arbitration) rights, he’s going to get a ‘gap’ deal. That’s the way it is. It’s silly for him to miss camp at his age.”
...if last year's CBA talks taught us anything, it's never a good sign when negotiations start to play out in the press.
...and while Stepan probably deserves a long term deal, when you don't have leverage you take the best offer.
Meanwhile, a day after saying he'd welcome Stepan back with open arms, Alain Vigneault seemed a little more agitated when talking about his #1 center's absence from camp (via Daily News)...
"I work with the guys that are here. He’s not here. That’s it. We’ll work with who’s available to us.”
...is it me or does that sound a little like Torts talking about Dubinsky during his holdout?
And of course Stepan's agent couldn't sit on his hands, so he decided to respond in the media...
“Derek has put himself in a category with all those guys coming out of Entry Level who received long-term contracts,’’ Matt Oates said to Brooks. “He’s earned that, but we have never said that we wouldn’t explore a short-term deal, either. We’re just looking for a deal that will reflect his performance.
“I think it’s beneficial for the Rangers to lock him up long-term, but if that’s not possible at this time, we’re certainly willing to engage management on a short-term deal in order to get this done and get Derek on the ice.”
Oates adds that Stepan hasn't even explored the possibility of an offer sheet.
...well played by Stepan's agent. While Sather attempts to paint the RFA center as the typical greedy athlete, Oates comes right back over the top by framing the Rangers GM as the stubborn one, while stating his client is more than willing to compromise and is just looking for fair market value. Very smart move as it seems like most of the Rangers fan base has been siding with Sather so far. Bravo.
...a silver lining is at least we now know that Stepan is open to the possibility of a bridge deal.
...tough contract negotiations always get worse before they get better, so I'm still confident something gets done before the season starts. Listen, if the NHL and NHLPA can come up with an agreement, anyone can.
Let's have him miss some of the season like Subban did. We have more than enough players to fill roster spots. Stepan has to realize his deal is going to be 3-3.5mil/2 years
I don't blame Step one bit on this. Aside from Hank, he was the best player on the team last year. That being said, everyone needs to sit down and get this done ASAP.
I don't have a problem with Sather, but I wonder if he's being cheap here. Negotiations are inevitable and necessary, but it sounds like Stepan, or at least his agent, doesn't think they've been offered fair market value in a bridge deal, but we don't know what numbers they're talking about. What is a reasonable number for a two-year contract? Stepan probably wants at least $3million. It seems to me that should be doable. Let's get this done, Glen. We're a better team with Stepan reporting to camp immediately. Again, we really don't know where the sides are at, we only know they're not yet in agreement.
What is a reasonable salary for Stepan's new two-year contract?
Not only does Step not have the leverage McD had with arbitration, his level of performance level is a year or so behind McD's as he only had his breakout year in '13. I don't mean to sound like I'm siding with Slats as he's a dick, and I have no way of knowing if his offer is reasonable. I don't begrudge Step for trying to receive fair market value either but at what point does the needs of your team in the cap restrictive era outweigh the size of your wallet. Negotiations are ugly and if Slats is being unreasonable then what are you suppose to do but you got to be a team player and put the team first and foremost (see Zuccs). Unfortunately that mentality seems all but lost in the big business of professional sports.
Something will get done, I'm positive of that. And it better get done before the season as he has never missed a NHL game so it would be stupid for him to miss his first one for this. My only fears are how far behind will he be when it happens and how much of a rift will have been created between him and organization. I don't think we'll have a Richards situation on our hands but he will be a step (no pun intended) behind so a little concerned on that. And that rift is inevitable - I just don't want Step to turn into the next Dubi :-(
(Btw, are fans really siding with Sather? I haven't noticed that but maybe I'm trying not to read too much about this cause the whole thing is pissing me off lol)
Enough with the comparisons already! It sounds like a couple of siblings arguing over who got more ice cream in their bowl! Stepan's situation is HUGELY different than McDonagh's solely because McDonagh had arbitration and Stepan didn't. If you go into a car dealer driving a brand new Mercedes saying you're looking for a 2nd car and you go into the same deal but your old junker dies in their parking lot, in which scenario are you likely to get a better deal vs settle for what you can get? Stepan has ZERO leverage. He's doing the only thing he can by holding out for more money over the next 2 years at this point. I guarantee you that he does not want to miss any of the season for this but what's he supposed to do, just cave in and take whatever offer he gets? It's a gamble for sure on Stepan's part because if Richards bounces back and Brassard plays like he did in the spring, suddenly Stepan's leverage is even less. Now if those 2 tank, then it puts pressure on Sather to get Stepan back in the fold. This will get done either way.
Terrible just terrible. I put this on Sather 100 percent. Guy is an asshole. If he wanted to give stepan a gap deal he should have done it before the Mac deal. Now he is just a hypocrite. I know stepan didn't have arbitration, but that doesn't matter here. If he isn't in camp by Sunday, sather should hang up his cigar.
@cb1 One season doesn't make him the best player on the team this season. Have to earn it which Stepan seems afraid to do.
@AG_Blue under the circumstances probably around 3,2M
It's not a game. It's a business. He has to cash in while he can as well. Most careers don't retire at 38-40. Most careers dont include the risk of having injury end that career built into it either. When it comes to the money side of it professional athletes have to look out for themselves and shelve the idea of others.
@Melissa (blknblueshirts) I don't have a huge sample size but just based on comments I've seen on the blog and on Twitter.
@FREE LINDBERGNo way. Steph
has to show last season was not a fluke like Dubinsky's was the season
before he held out. Stepan is poor on faceoffs, not the fastest skater
but he does play smart but will never be an elite player. If he has
another good season, then he can cash in. He's getting bad advice from
his agent and for Sather to meet his demands, Sather will have to get
rid of a couple of players and that can't sit well with his teammates.
Sather being stubborn, will let Stepan stay unsigned especially if
Lindberg makes the starting roster. Stephan is being a selfish asshole and personally hope he gets an offer sheet so the Rangers get back some good draft choices.
@FREE LINDBERG Who said he didn't offer Stepan a gap deal right away? What was he supposed to do, not sign McDonagh until Stepan's gap deal got done first?
@FREE LINDBERG I wouldn't normally chime in to shut down a comment because we are all allowed to have an opinion and express it but you are way off base with the "Sather is an Asshole comment" Sather is managing the club better then ever before in this cap world.. previous years (tired of hearing about it already because those days are long gone I hope) money would hav ebeen shelled out or the guy would have been Moved.. If STepan is holding out he is doing so because he wants to get paid now whereas he should have to put in a full season lik ehe did at least to deserve it. Subban did the same last year and eventually signed a deal that was even less then Kadri's deal and he went on to win the Norris and will definetly get what he deserves in his next negotiation. Steps needs to put up or shut up.. I say we are fine at Center and could totally afford to trade him and Del zotto maybe a guy like MIller to St Louis for Petriangelo..
yeah, doesn't seem like this should have to be drawn out
@IcyCup Looking out for yourself at the expense of hurting your teammates? This isn't golf or tennis which are individual sports. Team chemistry is very important in hockey. Having a greedy bastard like Stepan will severely damage team chemistry.
@IcyCup I think I addressed all your counterpoints in my original comments - maybe except the injury risk which is an obvious consideration.
@lennynyr @FREE LINDBERG I hate Sather, but I agree with him on this one. That being said, I don't think Stephan is being selfish at all. This is part of the business. He just needs to realize he doesn't have options, and he is hurting himself and his team while he realizes this. Take the deal, tear it up and get paid. That's the best you can do.
@FREE LINDBERG That being said, I love Stepan and really wish this nonsense would get worked out..
@hankthetank30 @lennynyr @IcyCup By the same token, if he gets a lavish contract and gets hurt, the team is stuck with that contract so it works both ways. So let's say Sather caves and gives Stepan a lucrative contract. That means Sather has to get rid of some players and that will most likely divide the team and team chemistry is lost. Play well for a second season and you can get your lucrative long term deal without pissing off your teammates. $2.5M is a good raise from $875,000. That's why he is a greedy bastard.
@lennynyr @IcyCup how is he a greedy bastard? Wanting to get paid the way you deserve to be paid isnt greed. It's looking out for himself and his family if he decides to have one. Labeling Stepan as greedy is just unfair. Especially when all it takes is one hit and you can get an injury that wouldnt let him play at the level hes capable of playing for the rest of his career or possibly end it
@IcyCup Go to the liquor store instead. Better than tums..