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Stepan, Rangers Agree on New Six Year Contract

Center has played 362 games for Rangers

Derek Stepan (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Derek Stepan (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)


The New York Rangers and Center Derek Stepan met before their arbitration hearing and finalized a new six-year deal that will pay the Hastings, Minnesota native $39 million.

New Rangers General Manager, Jeff Gorton, was able to come to an agreement with the 25 year old Stepan just hours before their arbitration hearing was scheduled to begin.

In an interview with Jim Cerny for; Gorton said, “It’s a really good thing for the Rangers and for Ranger fans. This is a 25-year-old player, who has played well for us already, and who now will play his prime years for us moving forward.”

Also in the interview, Stepan said, “I came into the league and was given an opportunity to be part of an Original Six team, an organization that has treated me extremely well, and now I get to go into my next six years with them. It’s a great feeling…this is where I want to be.”

The entire process was handled very well and professionally by all parties involved and once again showed how good Jeff Gorton is at his job of General Manager. It also showed why Ranger President Glen Sather thought so highly of Jeff that he did not allow the Boston Bruins or the Toronto Maple Leafs permission to speak to him to fill their respective GM positions.

The 6-0, 196 pound center has skated in 362 career NHL games for the Broadway Blueshirts over the past five seasons. In those games, his stats read as follows: 89 goals and 163 assists for a total of 252 points, as well as a plus 85 rating. Also, Steps is the first NY Ranger, since the NHL went to an 82 game schedule, to record 50 or more points in three consecutive seasons, since Wayne Gretzky did so from 1996-97 to 1998-99. Since Derek joined the Blueshirts at the start of the 2010-11 season, he leads the team in assists and points and is tied in goals. He also ranks second on the team in games played and plus/minus rating. He also ranks 10th in the league and third among centers, in plus/minus rating over that time span.

Steps is also one of only five Rangers in franchise history to tally more than 40 points in his each of his first five seasons. He is also one of only three Rangers and the only forward, who posted a plus/minus rating of plus eight or better in each of his first five seasons. That is rarified air if you ask me.

In 80 career NHL playoff games with the Rangers, Steps as scored 15 goals and dished out 26 assists, for a total of 41 points. Add to that, that he is only one of three forwards in Ranger franchise history to skate in at least 80 playoff games.

Derek was part of Team USA at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He also served as Captain of Team USA at the 2010 IIHF World Junior Championships, where they brought home the Gold. Steps led the team in assists (10) and points (14).

So for anyone out there that thinks that the Rangers overpaid for Steps, they are out of their minds. He is such an important part of the NY Rangers that those naysaying fans should be ecstatic, that Jeff Gorton and Derek agreed to such a great deal.

Derek is still only 25 and this will be only his sixth season in the NHL. The ceiling on the Hastings, Minnesota native and former Wisconsin Badger are as high as the heavens. And you can mark my words on that.

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