Derek Stepan

Done deal: Rangers re-sign Stepan — two years, $6.15 million


In the contract battle between Rangers GM Glen Sather and restricted free agent Derek Stepan, it’s Sather who comes away looking like the winner.

After some acrimonious talks, the two sides have agreed on a two-year deal. Both’s Pierre Lebrun and Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos say the deal comes in at just above $3 million per season. LeBrun says the deal comes in at $6.15 million.

It was reported over the weekend that Stepan was seeking a two-year deal worth $7 million. Instead, he’ll come a lot closer to what the Rangers were looking to sign him to. Stepan was originally hoping to sign a long-term deal, but the Rangers’ preference was for a bridge deal. It’s pretty clear Stepan didn’t have much leverage as a RFA in this situation.

Just earlier today it was reported the two sides were close to an agreement. Apparently they were a lot closer than believed. Now Stepan can get into camp and prepare for the season as the Rangers’ likely No. 1 center.

Avs unveil new third jerseys

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The Avalanche will be throwing a bunch of different looks at us this season.

Having already released specialized “Mile High” jerseys for February’s Stadium Series game, the Avs unveiled new third sweaters on Friday — less than 24 hours after a bitter 5-4 home loss to Minnesota in their season opener.

(Guess Colorado wanted to send out some good vibes after blowing a 4-1 third-period lead.)

While undoubtedly exciting for the organization, the release of these new thirds isn’t taking anybody by surprise. Last month, several websites published leaked images of Colorado’s and Anaheim’s third jerseys, so the design has been in the public eye for several weeks.

The Avs will debut these new thirds on Oct. 24, in a Saturday night tilt against Columbus.

Related: Roy explains why he didn’t call time out

Report: Escrow set at 16 percent

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Hey, remember in June when the NHLPA voted to keep the five-percent growth factor in spite of increasing worries about escrow?

Well, here’s why that decision was a significant one, via TSN’s Frank Seravalli:

With early revenue projections in place, the NHL and NHLPA set the escrow withholding rate for players at 16 per cent for the first quarter of the season on Thursday.

That means every player will have 16 per cent of earnings deducted from their paycheque and put aside until after all of this season’s hockey-related revenue is counted to ensure a perfect 50-50 revenue split with owners.

Now, this doesn’t mean that the players will definitely lose 16 percent of their salaries. Typically, they receive refunds when all the accounting is done.

Still, 16 percent is a good-sized chunk to withhold. They won’t be thrilled about it.

Related: To understand escrow, consider Duncan Keith