It appears the New York Rangers and unsigned RFA forward Derek Stepan are still far apart on a new deal, according to TSN’s Bob McKenzie.
Stepan, who led New York in scoring last year, is believed to be seeking a deal similar to the one teammate Ryan McDonagh signed in July — a six-year, $28.2 million contract with a $4.7 million annual cap hit.
The Rangers, meanwhile, are reportedly sticking to their offer of a “bridge” deal, similar to the one Michael Del Zotto (two years, $5.1 million) received after his entry-level contract expired.
Stepan, 23, made $875,000 annually on his ELC, which expired in July. He’s on record saying he expects a deal to be done by camp, but Rangers GM Glen Sather sounded adamant about not giving term to someone with only three seasons under his belt.
“I am not going to give a long-term contract at this stage and he is a good player, a smart player, a good team guy,” Sather told Edmonton’s Team 1260 earlier this summer. “There is certainly nothing wrong with him, but you need to wait a little while before you get the big bucks.”