They waited till the last minute. Finally, the Rangers and Derek Stepan agreed to a new deal that’ll pay him $39 million over the next six years. Indeed, the predicted figure which was proposed in this space as well as others turned out to be true. Stepan’s average salary is $6.5 million per season. ‘
From the beginning, it made sense. With Stepan submitting $7.25 million for arbitration and the Rangers countering with $5.2 million, you had to figure they’d settle in the middle. It couldn’t have gone any better except for one odd question. Why did it take so long for the two sides to get it done? Everyone knew what Stepan would get. However, that’s how the Rangers do business. They like to wait and drive us crazy.
For some, that meant panic. Fans started questioning why Stepan came in with a figure above seven million while the Blueshirts came in two million dollars apart. That’s part of the process. If they’d paid attention to the Capitals and Braden Holtby who actually requested $8 million before settling on $6.1 per season over the next five, each side deliberately does it and then get down to negotiating.
Now that Stepan is done, new GM Jeff Gorton has gotten everyone re-signed. The Rangers should be right at around $70 million for training camp. The current roster could always change. Tanner Glass remains a candidate for waivers. If either Dylan McIlrath or Brady Skjei impress the coaching staff, Kevin Klein could still be dealt to clear room.
For now, we can breathe easy. A Happy Monday indeed for the Blueshirts.