Kukla's Korner Hockey
Entries with the tag: derek stepan
via Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post,
The Rangers have already seen life without Derek Stepan, and it ain’t pretty.
They might have to deal with it yet again, as the top-line center left Tuesday’s 3-0 loss to the Islanders at the Garden with what coach Alain Vigneault called an “upper-body injury.” Stepan had received an unpenalized slash on the hand from Islanders forward Matt Martin in the first period, but Vigneault said the extent of the injury won’t be known until Wednesday.
Stepan played just three shifts after the first period, the final when he turned the puck over on a second-period power play that resulted in Frans Nielsen’s shorthanded goal. He was not on the bench for the third.
From the New York Rangers:
from Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants,
Stepan, back on the ice after missing two days due to a foot contusion initially suffered on Sept. 9 (the team did not skate on Tuesday as the Rangers held their annual golf outing) was participating in a full-rink sprint drill. But, shortly after pushing off and trying to get up to speed, Stepan collapsed to the ice on both knees around the far blue line, sliding through the neutral zone before coming to a stop in the opposite zone clutching at the area of his left knee. Stepan could be heard groaning in pain as he was attended to on the ice and then helped off by teammates Mats Zuccarello and Marty St. Louis.
Prior to today, coach Alain Vigneault had listed Stepan, who did not play in Monday’s 5-4 loss to the Devils in the preseason opener, as day to day and called the foot contusion “nothing serious.”
This time, the Los Angeles Kings couldn't rally from a 2-0 deficit, and it was due to some absolutely fantabulous goaltending--and a wee bit of luck--by Henrik Lundqvist, whose 40-save performance (including 15 saves in the 3rd period, a period in which the Rangers had 1 shot on Jonathan Quick) powered the Rangers to a 2-1 win and a Game 5 in Los Angeles this Friday.
Benoit Pouliot's first-period tip and Martin St. Louis' second-period drive to the net were answered by a Dustin Brown breakaway 8:46 into the 2nd, but after that, Lundqvist shut the door.
This little assist by Anton Stralman in the first period helped...
As did some slushy ice and another hand from Derek Stepan in the 3rd (via CJ Folger on Twitter):
And now the Rangers have some life, though the way the Kings dominated play doesn't bode well for a rally from a 3-0 deficit (though I will readily admit that BOTH teams look exhausted at this point).
I've seen better goaltending performances, but this one is in my top 5, and I've been watching hockey for 23 years now. Jonathan "The Scorpion King" Quick got bested by King Henrik, and that was...phenomenal stuff.
Please note: SB Nation's Steve Lepore and Grantland's Katie Baker pointed out that there is no hockey this weekend due to the World Cup of soccer taking place in Brazil, not due to some slight against the wonder that is our game.
So we had a player returning from jaw surgery and scoring 2 goals in Derek Stepan, a 4-1 New York Rangers lead blown, a pulled goaltender in Henrik Lundqvist, a hat trick for Rene Bourque, a match penalty for John Moore, an empty net for the Rangers with seven minutes left in the game and some near-the-bench shenanigans. Did I miss anything, or did that cover the Montreal Canadiens' 7-4 victory over the New York Rangers? Oh yes, Derek Dorsett head-butting Mike Weaver and then doing his damnedest to injure Rene Bourque on the last shift. And Tomas Plekanec actually being called for fake-jerking his head back to try to draw a penalty.
Here's Rene Bourque's hat trick goal...
And we're probably going to be talking about this hit (via @myregularface on Twitter) as well as Lars Eller and Dorsett's shenangians:
The New York Post's Larry Brooks is on an aggravated roll this morning. His Sunday notebook questions whether Montreal Canadiens coach Michel Therrien should be fined or suspended for suggesting that his Canadiens will target New York Rangers forward Derick Brassard...
What exactly did Therrien mean, and what message was the coach attempting to send to his players, or anyone else, by stating: “We expect Derick Brassard to play and we know exactly where he’s injured. Hockey is a small world…”?
It was an outrageously irresponsible statement from an adult in a position of responsibility — at worst a threat, a threat to re-injure. If anything happens to Brassard now, what else would anyone think?
He believes that the Pittsburgh Penguins owners' comments regarding Ray Shero's body of work as Pittsburgh's GM suggest that the ownership wants more input on player personnel decisions...
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
Somehow, Prust escaped without a penalty. Heaven only knows. The winger is not a dirty player, we know that from his time here. He is a hard one, and an honest one, but as the NHL Department of Player Safety reviews the open ice hit on Friday as it must, the people running the show will note that Prust has a playoff history he earned as a Ranger, suspended as he was for one game — Game 4 of the 2012 Eastern finals against the Devils for an elbow to the head of New Jersey defenseman Anton Volchenkov.
Stepan, who missed a couple of shifts but returned to the fray after having his head examined, left no doubt after the match he believes the league should enact supplementary discipline against his one-time teammate.
“It doesn’t matter [who it was]; it’s a bad hit,” Stepan said after the OT that ended in stunningly quick fashion when a rebound bounced in off Alex Galchenyuk at 1:12. “I certainly hope the league will look at it.
“I never saw [Prust]. I got the puck and I moved it. I even got some strides in,” Stepan said. “I never saw him.
“It might have been with his shoulder, but he made contact with my face. The main focus is my head.”
Watch the hit below...
No penalty on the play and Stepan did leave the game but did return.
The Maple Leafs re-signed restricted free agent defenseman Cody Franson earlier this morning, and the New York Post's Larry Brooks reports that the remaining marquee RFA on the market, Derek Stepan, may re-sign with the New York Rangers shortly:
The stalemate between the Rangers and Derek Stepan appears to be coming to an end, with talks between the club and its presumptive first-line center having accelerated Thursday morning, sources have told The Post.
It is believed the parties are zeroing in on a two-year contract worth approximately $6.5 million. That would represent a split-the-difference agreement: Stepan had been seeking $7 million while the Rangers had been offering approximately $6 million.
Stepan, who has been skating in Madison with players from the Wisconsin varsity, would likely meet the Blueshirts in New York on Sunday after they return home from Friday night’s final exhibition game in Las Vegas against the Kings. That would leave time for merely a handful of practices for Stepan to get ready for the Rangers’ opener in Phoenix on Oct. 3 as he acclimates himself to new coach Alain Vigneault’s system.
from Dan Rosen of NHL.com
New York Rangers general manager Glen Sather appears to be growing impatient with center Derek Stepan.
The restricted free agent has yet to sign a contract with the club and has held out of training camp. Stepan, 23, led the Rangers with 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists) in 48 games last season.
"I don't think Derek is going to let this thing linger that long," Sather said in an interview on MSG Network during the Rangers' preseason game against the Calgary Flames on Monday night. "I don't think he is a big enough fool to think that he will sit out the year and it will do any good. He is in a gap contract and every one of our players has signed a gap contract.
"You look at the football players who are making minimum wage, they get paid after they go through that time. I find it frustrating that some teams are in a hurry to sign these guys to big contracts. I think it's because the owners or managers panic and it's unfortunate that he has listened to his agent and decided [to do] that."
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
It is likely Stepan will have to compromise a bit more in order to get this done. But the Rangers are going to have to be willing to compromise, too, and come closer to the asking price of $3.5M per than they have been willing.
If they don’t, Stepan will have a serious problem. But then, so will the Rangers. It’s lose-lose. The team needs him every bit as much as he needs the team.
Leverage is one thing. Losing games in a stubborn attempt to exercise it is something else altogether. The gap isn’t that significant. It’s time to get this done.
The Globe and Mail's Eric Duhatschek believes that the recent re-signings of players like Daniel Cleary and Nazem Kadri, combined with last year's relatively painless re-signings of training camp "hold-outs" like P.K. Subban and the relatively few numbers of holdouts this year illustrate the fact that extended holdouts--which used to be the one and only way for high-profile players to earn the big bucks they seek from reluctant rights-holders--just aren't the way of the contract-negotiating CBA beast anymore:
Cody Hodgson re-upped last Wednesday with the Buffalo Sabres, there remain just a handful of unsigned players out there as NHL training camps opened with the first on-ice workouts Thursday.
Derek Stepan hasn’t come to terms with the New York Rangers. Also, the Leafs and Ottawa Senators are negotiating hard with Cody Franson and Jared Cowan, respectively, and the St. Louis Blues appear headed toward a showdown with their best player, Alex Pietrangelo.
But that’s it. Compare that to how things were in the 1990s, when it seemed every team had two or three annual contract skirmishes.
from Katie Strang of ESPN NewYork,
New York Rangers center Derek Stepan, an unsigned restricted free agent, missed his second straight day of training camp Thursday, and a resolution to his contract situation does not appear imminent.
Rangers general manager Glen Sather said he has been in constant communication with Stepan's camp but that there is nothing to report.
Sather said Stepan has to understand the parameters and limitations that come with the salary cap in the new collective bargaining agreement. As of now, Sather said Stepan seems open to the team's standard two-year "bridge deal" but that the sides remain "too far apart" on dollars to make a deal.
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.
from Dan Martin of the New York Post,
One of the few question marks surrounding the Rangers before training camp opens is the status of restricted free-agent Derek Stepan.
Assistant general manager Jeff Gorton said he expects a deal to get done with the 23-year-old, but added the Rangers aren’t willing to break the bank to do it — especially with the salary cap being reduced this season.
“I think there’s always a way to make a deal,” Gorton said Thursday.
At a Yankee Stadium press conference for January’s NHL Stadium Series involving the Rangers, Islanders and Devils, Gorton said coming to an agreement with Stepan is “definitely difficult for us.”
from Larry Brooks of the NY Post,
No one is comparing Derek Stepan with Trottier, but from the first moment of Stepan’s first day of his first training camp in September 2010, there was an inescapable sense of security, maturity and poise beyond his years within the 20-year-old out of the University of Wisconsin that was similar to Trottier’s right from the start.
For two seasons, Stepan handled pretty much everything thrown at him. Except for the playoffs. A year ago, scoreless in five games against Washington, moved out of the middle onto the wing for the final three matches after getting a fair share of time during his rookie season as a first-line pivot. This year, scoreless in his first five games against Ottawa, demoted to the fourth line for Game 3 after spending his entire sophomore season as a top-six forward.
But then, toward the end of the Game 5 defeat, it started to click. And then in Game 6, it clicked in. It clicked in with a goal — the first goal; the tying goal; the goal that was essential for his team — and two assists. And then in Game 7, it clicked again, Stepan threading a right wing pass between defenseman Sergei Gonchar’s skates to set up Marc Staal in front for the first goal; Stepan on the ice for 8:37 of the third and 3:14 of the final 7:09 with the Rangers protecting a one-goal lead amidst bedlam at the Garden.
“He willed himself,” is what coach John Tortorella said about the growth spurt that took place within a week. “It was weighing on him, but he found a way.”
Green is questionable to return and no penalty on the play.
Today’s three cheers for those who deserve as much from their performances of a night ago:
***Cheers to Derek Stepan of the New York Rangers, who burst onto the NHL scene last night with a hat trick in his first career game. Dallas’ Fabian Brunnstrom was the last player to manage three goals in his NHL debut and Stepan became the fourth player in league history to accomplish the feat. That it came against the reigning Vezina Trophy winner in Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, too, makes the performance that much more impressive. If Stepan’s contributions in the early-going are any indicator, New York will fare far better than some of us may have predicted.
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Guest writer Erin Nicks is covering the NHL Entry Draft in Ottawa for Kukla’s Korner this weekend.
By Erin Nicks
Those concerned about Ottawa picking up some grit in this year’s draft will need to dig deep into Round 5, when the club (after much apparent hemming and hawing) selected defenceman Mark Borowiecki with the 139th pick.