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Derek Stepan’s arbitration hearing set for July 27th

Bobby Bevilacqua

derek stepan profile 4-24

Photo courtesy of MSG Photos.

The last news in the Derek Stepan saga has been released, with his arbitration hearing now officially set for July 27th.

This is how it works. Stepan and his agent will say what they think is a fair price, and Jeff Gorton and the Rangers will counter with an offer of their own. Both sides will present why they think their price is fair, and an independent arbitrator will decide what his contract will be. The deals are usually one to two years in length.

If Stepan winds up going to arbitration, it isn’t ideal for the Rangers, but there are some positives. I’d be extremely surprised if the arbitrator granted Stepan a deal worth more than $6.5 million per year. That means that the Rangers could fit him under the cap for the one or two year deal that is allotted. Read the rest of this entry

O’Reilly gets massive extension with Sabres, what this means for Stepan’s future

Bobby Bevilacqua

DENVER, CO - MARCH 30:  Ryan O'Reilly #90 of the Colorado Avalanche warms up prior to facing the Nashville Predators at the Pepsi Center on March 30, 2013 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)

Ryan O’Reilly received a massive contract extension after being traded to the Buffalo Sabres, a contract that could wind up driving Derek Stepan’s price through the roof. Photo courtesy of Doug Pensinger/Getty Images.

When the season ended for the Rangers, and bloggers and beat writers began speculating, the general consensus was that Derek Stepan, an RFA, would command $6 million a year for a long term deal. Personally, I thought that even that was a bit too much money for Stepan, but it seemed like he would be able to get that much. And then the Buffalo Sabres came along.

The Sabres made a draft day trade for 24 year old Ryan O’Reilly in order to be their number one center, and take pressure off of Jack Eichel, and create a strong top line of Evander Kane, O’Reilly and Tyler Ennis. They then proceeded to sign him to a massive seven year, $52.5 million deal that would pay him an average of $7.5 million a year.

Now I know that the Sabres don’t have anyone of O’Reilly’s caliber at the center position, but that’s no excuse to overpay him like that. For a player that has broken 20 goals and 60 points once, that is a ridiculous amount of money. O’Reilly will be making the same amount of money as Pavel Datsyuk, Steven Stamkos and Jason Spezza, and he will be making more than guys like Patrice Bergeron, Anze Kopitar, Tyler Seguin and John Tavares after this season. For 2015-16 his cap hit will be $6 million, and the new contract will kick in for the following year. Read the rest of this entry