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09-16-2013, 06:15 AM
eco's bones
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Elmira NY
Country: United States
Posts: 17,012
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Regular season Stepan outpointed Nash last year--even after getting off to a very slow start. Neither had a particularly good playoffs. Nash got some pk but wasn't really a regular. Stepan got lots of pk time. Stepan + 25 in 48 games and considering the Rangers goal differential last year those are fabulous numbers and speaks to his defensive awareness. Next best on the team was Nash at +16. Stepan is hugely important in the Rangers scheme of things. Their best center.

Already missing Callahan and Hagelin (both of whom fit into the top 6 forwards) for the start of the season--not having Stepan around is another reason why the Rangers should bend here. We're carrying too many NHL'ers anyway and there's a number of youngsters knocking on the door. Sather should be moving bodies and creating cap space. Stepan at $3.5 mil is not an unreasonable contract.

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