Derek Stepan close to ready for regular season

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Derek Stepan agreed to terms with the New York Rangers, but only after missing the vast majority of the preseason. He won’t get to practice with the Rangers until Sunday, but he doesn’t seem too concerned about his readiness for the start of the 2013-14 campaign.

“I’m not far off,” Stepan told the New York Post. “There are going to be some times where I need to catch up a little bit, but I don’t think I’m that far off.”

Stepan took part in practices with his old team at the University of Wisconsin while he was still a restricted free agent.

This was a trying process for both sides and one that led Rangers GM Glen Sather to remark that he hopes Stepan gets a “little wiser” mere days before the signing. Still, that’s in the past now.

“There’s no bitterness. At a young age in my career I got to see the business side of it,” said Stepan.

He will get another taste of the business side of the game in the summer of 2015 and if he continues to perform like he did in 2013, he will get another big raise at that time.