At NHL.com, Corey Masisak looks at some comparable players and situations for Derek Stepan as he looks for his new contract.
He notes that Stepan’s numbers through three seasons are almost identical to Mike Richards’ first three seasons and that Stepan’s career average of .66 points per game before his 23rd birthday puts him behind Logan Couture, .71, and Jaime Benn, .72, among player that have completed “exactly” three seasons before turning 23.
Masiask notes that Richards and Benn signed long-term deals for second contracts while Couture was given a bridge deal and just signed a five-year extension worth $30 million.
Matt Duchene also signed a two-year bridge deal and just signed the same five-year extension worth $30 million.
Claude Giroux signed a three-year bridge contract before signing an eight-year extension this summer.
THIS SECTION is all about Stepan’s contract situation.
Adam Rotter: Stepan’s situation is more like Couture than Richards or Benn. Richards and Benn were giving longer-term deals to establish themselves as the go-to guys for their team. Benn, prior to the Tyler Seguin trade, was the core piece that Dallas was building around and Richards was being looked at as the next Bobby Clarke for the Flyers. The Sharks have indicated that Couture is their future go-to guy but they still have Joe Thornton and Patrick Marleau playing big roles. Stepan, with another big year, will ascend to that role when he signs his extension ,next y