Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/10/13 at 04:21 AM ET
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Stepan is believed seeking a five- or six-year deal in the neighborhood of $5 million per while the Rangers are believed offering a two-year contract worth between $2.75-and-$3 million a year.
Stepan’s request is not at all outlandish given his work the first three seasons of his career during which he clearly outperformed an extremely club-friendly Entry Level contract worth $875,000 per year.
The fact is Stepan, a 2008 second-round (51st overall) draft selection who emerged as the Rangers’ first-line center in 2011-12 and 2012-13, was eighth in scoring in the NHL among players 23 or younger over the last three years with 140 points (56 goals, 84 assists).
That’s more than Matt Duchene (138), Evander Kane (133), Jeff Skinner (131) and Sam Gagner (127).
But it is also a fact Stepan, who did not have arbitration rights coming out of Entry Level, has no systemic negotiating leverage in this negotiation with the Rangers beyond withholding his services — unless, that is, he is able to attract a Group II offer sheet that would prove debilitating to the cap-squeezed Blueshirts.
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