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 ESPN.com’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.