According to Larry Brooks at the New York Post, Derek Stepan and the Rangers remain about $1 million apart in contract negotiations.
Stepan is believed to be seeking $7 million on a two-year bridge deal while the Rangers are thought to have offered just under $6 million.
Brooks adds that depending on the final roster, the Rangers appear to have between $3-$3.5 million of available cap space.
...ummmm, so can't the two sides just meet in the middle on a two-year, $6.5 million deal? Seems ridiculous that either side is letting this drag on over what could be $500K over two years.
...with the strong play of centers such as Boyle and Lindberg this preseason, I think Stepan is going to start feeling the pressure of having to sign soon, because if he doesn't he will find himself low on the depth chart and possibly even on the wing.
...assuming AV isn't a fan of what Stepan is writing on his "clean slate."
...nobody wins when a holdout lasts this long.
I see this as GOOD news. This is all gamesmanship. Sure it'd be nice to have Step in camp but at this point it isn't vital. Each side is just playing thier part in the negotiation. Its great that they aren't so far apart - that makes getting a deal done all but certain.
This should make you happy, Rangers fans.
Hank tops the list of best goalies in the league.
The optimism train is here!
We got Dubi done after a mess. We got DZ done after a mess. Even Callahan didn't get his contract done smoothly. Stepan is better than all of them, hands down. He will get paid, and he will get paid before friday. I'd bet my life on it.
Also. Hockey is back TONIGHT. TODAY I SWEAR ISN'T IT INCREDIBLE I'M SO HAPPY
At what point does another team offer Stepan a 2-year, $8mm contract and just completely eff the Rangers? At that price, the Rangers would have to make tough roster moves just to keep him. This idea that it's an unspoken rule not offer other teams' RFA a contract because then other teams will target yours is flmsy at best. For starters, that's collusion, which I'd bet is illegal under the CBA. The Rangers are making a BIG gamble here that no one makes an offer. If the cap space they have to work with is just $3.5mm per year, they could end up not being able to sign him even if they wanted to. Looked what happened to Colorado with Ryan O'Reilly. Didn't work out so well for them. If Sather loses one of their best players over $1mm over 2 years . . .
$500k apart per season is still a decent chunk of change. It's all relative really. For what Step is looking for, it's about 7%-8% of his overall pay (what he's asking), but we non-athletes/non GMs look at this as "how could Step be so greedy or how could Cablevision not afford what's a drop in their bucket?" because we feel that it's a situation of rich just getting richer, and as fans we get annoyed.
I think something will get done, but it's really not as simple as it sometimes seems, when you look at percentages and the business side. Plus, there are other intangibles. Step (and his agent) probably already feel that he's more valued in the range of $4m per (like McD), and they feel they're already giving a discount to get a deal done. If I was in Step's situation, another 7-8% off what I view as an already significant discount would be hard to give up. On the GM side, Sather knows that this is the only time from here on out that he'll have any leverage on Step, so he's gonna use it. Wouldn't you if you were the GM? Plus, Sather has cap issues (partly his fault) but they're still real issues he has to deal with.
I don't understand those calling to trade Step or screaming at Sather due to the holdout. They're both doing what most people would do if they were in their shoes, and it's not as if Step is being ridiculously greedy or Sather is being ultra stingy.
Why must Ranger fans suffer like this???
Sather, stop screwing around and pony up the cash. Considering some of the outrageously awful contracts you've signed in the past, throwing an extra $1M at Stepan doesn't even make the Top 50 Worst Decisions You've Made as GM.
Derek, team first, kiddo. Don't be greedy. Demand what you're worth, but don't be pig-headed about it. Playing nice in the sandbox benefits everybody, including you. Plus, did you see how much fun the other boys are having? There was playful hair pulling between Zucc & Hags at yesterday's scrimmage. You know you want in on that again.
Step's a great player, and the team loves him. Maybe Richards should give home the 1 million after last years performance.... Respectively.
Trade his ass out of town. Lindberg looks like he will be a better player under AVs system than Stepan will be. Stepan is better under Torts system, dump and chase, set up plays on the perimeter etc. He's not big enough to get away with being slow like Boyle under AVs system since Boyle is not easy to move out of the crease while Stepan is. AVs system is speed and going to the net, not the strong parts of Stepan's game. His trade value should be high and we should some good quality . Maybe Torts will convince Vancouver management to try to get him. Also could be that Stepan is hoping to cash in on an offer sheet. Hope somebody comes along and offers him a $6M offer sheet. Think we'd get two firsts and a 2nd back.
as so many on the blog have been saying for so long now, they should settle at 3.2 and get to work ... why don't these people read the blog!?
I don't know about anyone else but this is upsetting me because I think the Rangers need his talent.
At least the sides are *too* far apart. Hopefully they can get deal done in the next couple days so that Step can get his ass on the ice.
On an unrelated topic, what do you guys think of the backup goalie situation? Biron, Talbot, and Hedberg seem to be fighting for the spot. IMO, we should keep Marty. He has the best recent stats of the three and is a very capable backup, along with being a great locker room presence. Hedberg is old and has so-so stats. I would cross him off the list. Talbot is 10 years younger than Marty with not-as-good stats, so the only reason I would keep him in NY is to potentially groom him as Hanks eventual replacement.
just sign already and move on.. this was easily the most boring, uneventful, long and annoying offseasons fo as far back as I can remember. Not much new to be excited about.. can we play some freaking games already!!!!
There is plenty of dead weight we can dump to ahl to free cap space. Really hope this isn't Sather being stubborn. Get steps in training camp NOW Lgr
given the cap issues the rangers have bc they didn't release Richards, that could be the issue. I agree though, the dollar difference is ridiculous that the deal hasn't been made yet
not that Sather isn't blame because his choice not to buy out Richards put him in this spot, but step needs to take what he's offering. it's still a lot of money! take it and get to camp so that you can show that you're worthy of 7 mil in 2 years. TAKE THE DEAL!!!
@DanW Which funeral parlor would you like to be embalmed with?? :)
@rangersfan The team would have to be willing to part with a 1st and 3rd round pick, and all the teams with the cap room to do that would be giving up a top 10 pick.
@queensbee It's not about the money from Slats end, it's about the Cap hit. $500k at the start of the season adds up to alot more at the deadline. Also, Step is the one with nowhere else to go. The Rangers have plenty of depth at center right now. All Step can do is hold out, which means he doesn't get paid and doesn't get any closer to arbitration. He's the one who should be asking if all that is worth it for $500K per year.
@nyRags4life Don't be too sure that keeping Richards is the problem. Knowing Sather he probably would have signed a high end free agent anyway using up most of the cap. I'd like to see Stepan signed but as long as Richards performs, should be OK at center with Lindberg entering the picture.
@lennynyr Yeah ... Let's trade a 23 year center who led us in scoring and is STILL getting better. Lindberg hasn't played one period of a real NHL game and you're already saying he'll be the better player? Based on what you saw in highlights and from yesterday's scrimmage where there is hardly, if any, physical play. Trading away young players like Stepan b/c they are looking to get paid fair market value is the dumbest move any organization can make. As for getting draft picks ... yeah ... let's trade a proven NHLer who could be an all-star for the unknown of draft picks b/c we all know how good the Rangers track record is with 1st round picks.
Better argument is play hard-ball with him until he caves and realizes it's getting too late to be ready for opening night. He'll sign. If he doesn't then I'll agree that he's an idiot.
@lennynyr Not even sure where to even begin but I'll be non-judgmental of your hockey sense and balanced and just say "respectfully disagree". There's little flash, and it's a basic north-south game so there is a lot to Steps game that the average fan does not see but I can tell you he's going to emerge as the most complete, well rounded player on the entire squad who is capable of, and will adapt to any system or set of circumstances thrown his way, including AV's. Last year every winger on the team without exception played their best hockey while paired with Step at center (perhaps the only good thing to come out of Torts' line shuffling). He put up some respectful numbers in this his 3rd season (I believe), he's still quite young and don't forget his forte is defense, not offense. His true value will not show up on the scorers sheet yet he will be a consistent 25/60+ point scorer with at least a +20 every season he's healthy, which anyone would agree are great numbers. He's a great PK guy as well as good on the PP (well Rangers PP? - maybe we shouldn't go there). I could go on but you get the idea, and your comments on this blog are usually very informed so my guess is you are as frustrated as the rest of us with these negotiations.
@AG_Blue Ask myself the same question all the time.
@Betweentheworlds Get er done.
@pkh33 I wouldn't call it an unrelated topic. The deal Step signs could have an impact on who the back-up goalie is. Its one of the few spots on the roster where management has some wiggle room with cap implications. Step's hold out for more $$$ could spell the end of Marty if he doesn't stand out in camp and the pre-season. Wonder how Step feels about that.
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG I agree in principle but it's not that easy. It's easy for you and I to say take your 2.5 M - it's what guys like I would make in 10-30 years or so. Lots of money. Don't be greedy. However there is a market value issue here and if players don't negotiate for more money when offered somewhat below their percieved value they get a lot of heat from other players, agents etc. because it winds up hurting other players' negotiations and future contracts. It's complicated and ugly in the big business of professional sports. I wish they would just compromise down the middle at this point. That would be the best solution.
@BuckarooClub well, that's clearly a fairly big obstacle. Stil, Step is a gem. A team that needs just one more big piece might be willing to make that gamble since a top 10 pick,even if he's good, can take a while to make it. Maybe I'm over stating the risk. Would be a s-show though if someone offered him $8mm over two years.
Nah not saying they should have given Richards away, I think he might do well, just saying, Richards could afford it;)
@TruBluEsp @lennynyr The same thing was said when Dubinsky held out. He came off a good season. Lindberg has played against NHL players and done quite well. That said, it isn't even certain that if Step signs, he can gain back his #1 spot that he had last year. It depends a lot on how Richards performs. If he shows last season was a fluke, he's the number 1 center, Brass is not far behind, so he looks like #2, Stepan could battle Lindberg for the #3 job but even winning that battle is not a guarantee. Plus how do you think Biron feels? He could lose his job so the Rangers could increase cap to up offer to Stepan. His bullheadedness will be a cancer in the locker room. The chemistry looks good right now. He's not that good and he is an idiot. Probably doesn't think he can put up those numbers again, or better, so wants to cash in now. Sather is right on this one and I don't say that too often.
@Betweentheworlds @lennynyr Not disputing what you are saying about Stepan but why couldn't Lindberg do even better? More speed, better on faceoffs, quicker shot, also a two way player like Stepan. You, Dan W and others too deep in the forest to see the trees. If anybody is stupid, it's Stepan for not realizing he can break the bank with his next contract. Penny wise and pound foolish.
@lennynyr @TruBluEsp I couldn't disagree with you more. What makes you say he probably doesn't think he can put up those numbers again? You honestly feel that he thinks that way? That's crazy. He's going to be playing in a more open, offense-oriented system. As for chemistry, he's one of the most-liked and respected players in that locker room. On the ice, he already has chemistry as evidenced by the fact Torts kept playing him with different wingers and he still produced. As for Brass, what makes you believe Stepan's season could be a fluke and Brass season with the Rangers wasn't?
Oh, Ii sounded like you were suggesting we ship him off to Van for draft picks. My bad. I will say I'm pretty excited about Lindberg too.