After finally signing his two-year, $6.15 million contract with the Rangers yesterday, Derek Stepan discussed the arduous process with Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record...
“There’s no bitterness. At a young age in my career here, I got to see the business side of it. It doesn’t go as smoothly as you think sometimes. It’s a hard thing to grasp and not take it personally. I had people around me tell me, ‘Don’t take it personally.’ I’m just glad we were able to get something done.”
Gross adds that the plan for Stepan will be to undergo medical testing today, skate on his own at the Rangers’ practice facility tomorrow and then rejoin his teammates when they resume practicing on Sunday.
Stepan, who had been practicing with the University of Wisconsin hockey team, did not rule out the season opener in Phoenix next Thursday...
“I’m not far off. There are some times when i need to catch up a bit but I don’t think I’m too far off.”
...i don't think there's any chance Stepan's not in the line-up when the season opens against the Coyotes. Especially with the way the team has been playing. The concern now is if a week is enough time to get Stepan up to date on the new system. Even if it's not, expect him to be thrown in there anyway.
...so how quickly will Rangers fans turn on Stepan when he goes pointless in his first five games? lol
...as far as any bad blood lingering between Stepan and the Rangers, I just don't see it as an issue. Both sides know this is a business and that they're just looking out for their own best interests.
Here's video of Stepan skating at MSG training facility today (via Rangers Instagram)...
Stepan struggled in the first 5 games last year, too, before he got up to speed, so to speak. Expect something similar.
Obviously he's going to play. Damn right the team will welcome him with open arms, the need something.
Step was the straw that stirred the drink last year for us. Whatever line he got juggled to was the line that was productive.
@TheNYRBlog he was our best center last season can't see why AV would sit him considering the way we played last night.
"...so how quickly will Rangers fans turn on Stepan when he goes pointless in his first five games? "
Very quickly! I'm preparing my snide remarks and made up trade rumors now! Seriously though, unless the Rangers were offering him much less than was reported, there is no way he should have missed most of training camp with a new coach and system to play chicken with Slats when it was obvious he would not win.
@TheNYRBlog Given how some guys have played, he's in even if not ready. He couldn't do much worse then some.
@TheNYRBlog Steps hasn't yet missed a game in his career. He'd better not sit game 1 because his negotiations came through a little too late
@TheNYRBlog Goodness, I would hope Stepan is ready for *home* opener. He better be ready for the season opener.
@Hotfreak Trade him!!!!!!
seriously ... he held out to go from the 2.9 offer up to 3.075?
@AndrewOnHockey Agree 100%.
@ChrisKnieste He'll be in there.
@bmitchelf @TheNYRBlog LOL! I obviously meant season opener.