Derek Stepan Negotiations (9/19-Dreger: "Unlikely" Stepan signs before season opens)
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09-20-2013, 08:42 AM
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Elmira NY
Originally Posted by
No offense taken. I know you weren't directing it at me. I was just adding to what you said in agreement.
I'm not mad at either side. Its a frustrating process but thats part of the business. People don't understand that. Sather has to win every dollar and cent he can out of this deal. Richards contract has nothing to do with this situation. Sather paid Richards to what the market (other interested teams) were willing to pay. The Rangers desperately needed a #1 center. Whether he has lived up to that or not is still up for debate. Hindsight is 20/20. I believe it was LAK or CGY or both. Sather got him for less. Sather and company are negotiating based on comparable bridge deals with guys like Couture, Kadri, and Duchene. They know what their max is they would be willing to pay, but when you are a GM you don't to just give the max up front. You negotiate as far from the max as possible and call it a day. Stepan has no leverage. No arb rights. They know he likes NY. They know his college buddy, McDonagh is here. They have fellow Americans here that he has played with through international play. It is a comfort zone he cant get anywhere else.
Its business. Criticize Sather all you want, but he is handling this the right way.
Not mad at either side either. They're both within their rights. It's absurd to think that his teammates won't welcome Stepan back when it's finally over like some people think. He's doing what other players in his situation would do. Richards moves into the conversation however because of the nature of his contract and the decline in his play last year. If the Rangers had bought him out we probably wouldn't be arguing about Stepan now because a few hundred thousand of the money saved from his bought out contract would be no big deal. Richards stays in the conversation because even if his play goes back up to the level he played two-three years ago the Rangers are in a situation with the long term ramifications of his contract that they will (or should) probably buy him out next summer anyway--barring injury. It's early but I feel a lot more comfortable with Stepan and Brassard centering scoring lines than I do with Brad. Even putting cap hits aside I'd easily choose both over Richards if one had to go. The emergence of young centers such as Lindberg, Miller etc. should make that decision of buying out Brad even easier.
Stepan is using the leverage he has because not signing is leverage at least if the team struggles. It calls for some sufferance on his own part--true but the Rangers won't have one of their better--arguably their best forward. It may give someone like Lindberg an opportunity and the way Oscar has looked so far there's some reason to believe that his play can mitigate in large part Stepan's absence--having quality replacements already in place could very well work in the Rangers favor to bring this situation to a conclusion.
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