Rangers forward Derek Stepan apparently isn’t eager to see how labor talks turn out today.
Courtesy of Twitter, Stepan announced he’s off to Finland to play in the SM-liiga for KalPa.
Stepan is the third Rangers player to head to Europe and the first in Finland. Rick Nash is with Davos in Switzerland, Ryan McDonagh is with Barys Astana in the KHL. Meanwhile Carl Hagelin was with Södertälje in Sweden until he hurt his shoulder and returned to New York.
KalPa doesn’t have a lot of familiar former NHL talent there, but he will get to help set up former Flyers and Hurricanes forward Sami Kapanen.
Is this a sign that negotiations are going poorly since Stepan waited until now to head abroad? Not exactly. He may be just looking to play in some actual games to be ready when/if the lockout ends.