In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that Derek Stepan can make a good case to get a salary close to $4 million in his new contract but since Stepan isn’t arbitration eligible it’s unlikely that he will get close to that number.
Brooks notes that Stepan ranks behind Steven Stamkos and John Tavares in most points by an under-23 center over the past two years with 95.
Stepan finished 11th in scoring for centers this season with 44 points in 48 games. Stepan had 10 points in the first 19 games and then had 34 in the final 29 games of the regular season. He was tied for third in the NHL in game winning goals this season with six.
Adam Rotter: I wonder if the Rangers will give Stepan the same kind of contract that the Avalanche gave Matt Duchene, two-years and $7 million and then talk about a big extension next summer when the Rangers will have a lot more cap space and the cap will rise. It’s more of a numbers issue than an issue of wanting another year of Stepan playing at a high level. He deserves a long-term extension, and will get one at some point, but right now the Ranger may have to look shorter term and a lower cap hit to make other pieces fit.