Now that Cody Franson re-signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs, Rangers forward Derek Stepan is the final restricted free agent left to sign and it may not be long before that’s taken care of.
Multiple reports say the two sides are close to a new deal. CBC’s Elliotte Friedman says they’re close to a two-year deal that would pay in the neighborhood of $6.5 million.
That report meshes well with what Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported over the weekend saying the two sides were about $600,000 apart. Stepan was seeking something closer to $7 million while the Rangers and GM Glen Sather were looking to go as high as $6.4 million.
With the Rangers opening their season on the road in Phoenix on October 3, getting a deal done as soon as possible will give Stepan a chance to get acquainted with Alain Vigneault’s system. The sooner the better works for him as he’s also hoping to land a spot on Team USA’s Olympic team.
Related: Sather: Stepan not ‘big enough of a fool’ to let contract stalemate continue
Taylor Hall is sick and reportedly “doubtful” for tonight’s game in Dallas.
Hall did not skate with the Oilers this morning. If he can’t play, Edmonton’s top two lines against the Stars could feature Ryan Nugent-Hopkins between wingers Teddy Purcell and Benoit Pouliot, followed by Connor McDavid centering Lauri Korpikoski and Nail Yakupov.
The Oilers — forced to start the season without top-six winger Jordan Eberle — have scored just once in their first two games, losing 3-1 in St. Louis and 2-0 in Nashville.
Edmonton returns home after tonight’s contest to play St. Louis on Thursday. Then it’s back out on the road for games against Calgary and Vancouver.
Buffalo has put blueliner Matt Donovan on waivers, per Sportsnet.
Donovan, 25, signed a one-year deal with the Sabres on the opening day of free agency after spending his entire professional career with the Isles organization.
The fact he’s being waived isn’t a huge shock. Donovan failed to draw into a single Sabres game this year despite a whittled-down blueline; Jake McCabe, recently called up from AHL Rochester, drew into the lineup for Monday’s win over Columbus at the expense of Carlo Colaiacovo, who played the first two games of the year.
The fact both McCabe and Colaiacovo were ahead on the depth chart didn’t bode well for Donovan. Today’s move could also suggest that Zach Bogosian, who hasn’t played this year due to injury, is ready to return.