Rangers Player Analysis 1: Derek Stepan
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12-29-2012, 08:46 AM
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Da Big Apple
Originally Posted by
I won't restate what's already been said about his skillset. However, I watched a ton of Stepan while he was at Wisconsin and he was always at his best when he was playing with an edge to his game. He needs to get his swagger back and he'll be even more dangerous. You see it at times, but occasionally he looks a little too timid.
He certainly has 20-40 upside with more experience and the right linemates.
1. Big time kudos to the OP for this idea, and a really thorough effort on his presentation in the first post of this thread.
2. The above post says it well, but it is a battle between his exceptional intangibles vs. limited natural talent that may be capped. IOW, can he skate faster, even with Babs Underhill help? And if so, how much? Skating speed is not everything, just ask Gene Carr, and there is no question that just because they guy is not Hagelin2 does not mean he is leadfoot.
But his intangible positives don't suggest they can go much higher. If he bulks up, he could get stronger, but that could also work against speed. So can he really improve, by any noticeable degree, the net optimum of his speed and other aspects of physical play? To a negligible degree, sure. To a marginal degree, maybe. To a substantial degree, I don't think so. How about shot? Similar bottom line. Stepan has basic get it done at NHL level ability; but he is not gonna be confused for a sniper who can create and finish by himself if necessary.
Conclusion: Derek is thus a legit talent, we should not overrate or underrate. Given the speed of our top Fs (Kredier, Callahan, Hagelin, Gaborik, and Nash) who we are less likely to move and thus committed to viewing as roster fixtures, an even faster C like JT Miller could work better.
What we need ask, and seem to be doing here in this thread, is first, what in detail does Derek bring to the table, and second if the value of what that is worth more by keeping him, that's what we do, and if it isn't we consider moving him without hesitation IF the return is good enough.
This does not mean we dump Stepan by giving him away. We only trade him, like any other player, if it serves a purpose, usually to return an acceptable profit.
So the question is should/can we keep Stepan? We need to factor into this salary cap issues. If Miller beats out Stepan as a better fit with speedier linemates, whether sooner or later, that relegates Derek to the third line. That is a strengthening of our pivot. But can we afford that?
So I have an open mind, but given he has, and truthfully yes, he is not the only one, but he has gotten lost for stretches, I believe we can score a high enough return to move him. Chicago, Phoenix, Montreal are three that come to mind immediately and I'm sure the list is longer.
Depending upon the exact return, or what we might have have to kick in with Stepan to score a premium upgrade, I'm leaning to move him.
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