NHL Morning Rumor Mill – Friday, August 9, 2013.

Updates on the Rangers efforts to re-sign Derek Stepan, potential free agent additions for the Coyotes, and the latest on Dan Cleary and Damien Brunner.

NY Rangers no closer to re-signing Derek Stepan.

NY Rangers no closer to re-signing Derek Stepan.

NEW YORK POST/NEWSDAY/NORTHJERSEY.COM: Rangers assistant GM Steve Gorten spoke yesterday on the club’s efforts to re-sign RFA Derek Stepan this summer without going over the $64.3 million salary cap. The Rangers currently have around $3 million in cap space, and Stepan (the club’s leading scorer last season) is due a substantial raise over the $875K he earned last season. Gorton remains confident they’ll get Stepan under contract by training camp, and also said there’s no timetable to re-sign superstar goalie Henrik Lundqvist, who is slated to become a UFA next summer.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: CapGeek lists the Rangers cap space at just over $2.1 million. Obviously the Blueshirts want to get Stepan under a short-term bridge contract, and for less than $3 million per season. They can go over the cap by ten percent during the summer but must be cap compliant by the start of the season. I don’t see how they can get Stepan signed without shedding a bit of salary in the process, unless they force him to accept under $2 million per season.

Stepan’s coming off his entry-level contract, so this could turn into a contract holdout if the Rangers aren’t willing to come up in salary. I don’t expect they’ll shop Stepan.  As for Lundqvist, there’s plenty of time to get him re-signed, and you know they’ll open the vault to keep him.

ESPN.COM: Tim Kavanagh noted the Phoenix Coyotes, with their ownership issues now behind them, has $6.9 million in cap space if they wish to invest further in what’s left in the free agent market. Kavanagh points out the Coyotes still lack “a finisher”, and suggests Brad Boyes and Damien Brunner as options, though it remains to be seen if GM Dan Maloney will be given the green light for further free agent additions.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Brunner was believed seeking $3.5 million per season but his asking price might drop the longer he remains on the market.  Boyes, who made $1 million last season with the NY Islanders, could probably be had for between $1-$1.5 million. It’ll be interesting to see if the Coyotes take another dip into this summer’s shallow UFA pool.

DETROIT NEWS: Ted Kulfan reports Brunner and Daniel Cleary remain available. While the Red Wings have interest in bringing back Cleary, they need to clear salary first, and there appears little interest in Jordin Tootoo and Cory Emmerton. Kulfan doubts Cleary will wait much longer for the Wings to sort things out. As for Brunner, if he doesn’t lower his asking price, Kulfan suggests he could end up back in Switzerland.


  1. I’d be very surprised if Stepan signs for anything less than 4M a year. Duchene just got 6 with very similar stats.

    • Duchene is in the 2nd year of his “bridge” contract with a cap hit of $3.5 million. His $6 million/year contract doesn’t kick in until 2014-15. Expect a similar 2-year bridge contract for Stepan, probably in the $3.5 – $3.75 million range.

      • Sorry I should clarify $3.5M/year so 2 years @ $7M total. Like Steve said below, 4 years @ $17-18M total would probably be ideal for the Rangers.

  2. If Bozak can attain $4.2M per, Stefan can get $5M per.

    • wow, can’t agree more. sather hates nonis right about now.

      • Or Clarkson for that matter, sure he has had a 30 goal season, but that was just that one time. Sure they are different playing style players, but out of 426 Games (2006/07 to 2012/13), he only has 170 Points…and is 29 years old. While Stefan has only played 212 Games (2010/11 to 2012/13), he has 140 Points…and is only 23 years old.

        • 23 years old you hit the nail on the head, he will get a bridge deal around 4 mill for 2 years you cant compare UFAs to RFAs

          • says who?

          • Apparently anyone besides you, baring an offer sheet Stepan will get around 4mill possibly less possibly a little more but it dosent make a whole lot of sense to pay him more then you have to. He just came off his entry level and cant even file for arbitration therefore he has 2 choices sign and play or sit and wait for an offer sheet, while sitting he would effect his value probably in a negative kind of way (what was Subban looking for again before he signed a cheaper bridge deal ?) and to which with the amount of teams very close to the cap which has gone down an offer sheet probably isn’t coming.

          • have you stopped paying attention to hockey in the past 5 seasons? the most likely option, is to sit out and wait until your money arrives. that’s what stepan will do, like daughty and suban. stepan will get paid.

          • subban didnt win on his holdout at all

        • you do know scoring isn’t the only thing that contracts should be based on? clarkson will beat you up, block shots, kill penalties, score goals, etc…. he’ll be worth every penny as the cap will more than likely rise to $70 mill next year again. Stepan is a good young player but he won’t do half of those things

      • Its about time it came back on him! Every GM in the League hates Sather for the dumb contracts he doles out.. “If I had the Rangers money we’d be in the playoffs every year” .. Hows that going Glen?

        • absolutely agree

    • Big difference in coming off an entry level RFA and a UFA deal not even close to the same situation.

      • i think that’s a tad over dramatic. ufa and rfa are very close. closer than say a shoe string and a taco. closer than say an entry level contract and a 4th contract. in fact the only thing that differs with these two scenarios from the player’s perspective is that their previous year’s performance is 99% of the time much better when they’re a ufa vs rfa – which is usually why the $$ values are different.

        performance will always dominate a contract over experience and seasons in.

        • So your saying that a number of teams trying out bid one another on the same product dosent effect the value of the product? I suggest you go back to school

          • “a number of teams trying out bid one another on the same product dosent effect the value of the product”

            haha.. pretty certain i didn’t say anything close to that. I appreciate the tip, it’s never a bad idea. I suggest you go back to my paragraph.

        • Have to agree with Rob here. Stamko’s and Doughty’s, so called “bridge contracts” look an awful lot like UFA contracts. These two were under 23yrs of age when they signed them.

          Franson and Kadri will demand UFA contracts just like Stepan’s agent will do. Very little difference between UFA and RFA contracts these days with teams wanting to lock up their stars for long term. The Subban “bridge contract” was rare and Montreal may end up pay a bigger price next summer for not locking him up long term last year like Tampa and LA did with the two mentioned above. It all seems to work out in the wash at the end of the day.

          • Those teams had cap room and bought up ufa years, Rangers do not have that unless they make moves…

          • that doesn’t impact stepan’s asking price..

          • Yes both are free agents but with the exception that a RFA is restricted and can only deal with the team that OWNS that free agents rights so that agent either agrees to terms like it or not, or they sit out since they have no contract. A restricted FA has the choice to sign and play or not sign and not play. The offer sheet everyone think is the magic bullet doesn’t work since the player must first be willing to want to sign an offer sheet and offering offer sheets blindly isn’t the way most of these GMs do business. An UNRESRTICTED FA can deal and sign with whomever that free agent wishes to.

            I say there is quite a difference between the two.

          • Wow Ron has really given us some major insight into hockey here. We can all sleep easier now knowing he knows the difference between a UFA and RFA… I’m seriously blown away…

            Ron just an FYI it’s Duct tape not Duck tape just in case anyone asks you to go fetch them some. Just thought I would blow your mind today too.

          • Stamkos & Doughty are superstars in the NHL… Stepan is a good player but not in the league of the other 2.

            Rangers can no longer bury high paying contracts in the AHL… a la Redden… so now they will be forced to trade a player to get under the cap if they have to pay Stepan more than 2M..

            A bridge contract is the way to go…. but it may come back to hurt a team if that young player really ups his game… a la Subban…

            The Leafs have that situation with Franson & Kadri.. both good young players.

            The Sens have that with Cowen.

            Do you sign them for 6 or 7 yrs at salaries that will be too high now –(buyout UFA years) — to save what could be a huge amount in the latter years of the contracts if they excel in the NHL.

            IE: Sign them for about 4M a season avg.. It is too much for any of those 3 now.. but in 5 or 6 years it could be a bargain. That’s a dilemna for both teams..

          • Youre both hopeless the Kings bought up UFA years,how dont you understand that Doughty’s contract is not a bridge deal? They had space and signed him long term. Subban wanted long term at 5 mill plus and signed a bridge deal for far less then he was asking cap wise for 2 years at 2.8 mill which is quite a bit less then say 5 year at 5 mill which is what he was asking for. so by your own argument how does 5.75 million over 2 years translate in to “Stepan will get what he wants just like Subban did”? PK was wanting closer to 25 mill over the next 5 years seems all this leverage you say he had didnt work out so well.
            Btw bg you whine and complain about Ron not backing up things he says when he cuts up your flawed logic so now he backs it up and youre still a douche bag so quit whining when people call out your dumb ass views.

        • Seems the Rangers have a glut of Centers – I’m sure Stepan wants what he’s worth and playing time. I would say he is in the $4M range and the Rangers may be lowballing him as they don’t have the cap space. As an aside – I think Stepan is a step ahead of Hodgson that is why I can see Hodgson being offered a 2 years bridge for $2.25 year one and then $3.25 for year 2. If I were the Rangers I would try to sign Stepan to a 4 year deal at $17-18M

          • Agreed with Steve

        • Rob, there logic to what everyone is saying about the difference in the UFA/ RFA status for MOST RFAs, because the team has them in a closed situation where they have to agree or arbitrate, and unless you are a up and coming superstar, teams will not cross the forbidden zone and try a rfa offer b/c the cost, and ramifications of teams poaching your guys at a later date.
          The RFAs just dont have that barging power.

          • Tell that to Drew Doughty. I would say he had lots of bargaining power considering his contract.

            A team can create an issue for themselves in the future.
            1. An RFA can improve so much on a bridge contract that that player can become unaffordable to their team in the future.
            2. An disgruntled RFA can sit out and become a major distraction to a team causing them to look to trade the player
            3. A disgruntled RFA can sign a bridge contract until his UFA status kicks in causing the team to loose him at that point because he was unhappy with his bridge contract..
            4. A disgruntled RFA forced to sign a crappy contract can become a locker room liability and team distraction.

            There are many things that can cause a team to take a hard look at trying to make an RFA happy

          • i understsand the argument, that schticky made. totally.
            that said, ask Marc Bergevin how little bargaining power Suban had. They wanted to pay him $2M.

            The reality today is that players get what they are worth, regardless if it’s 20 teams or just 1 team who are negotiating. Don’t be niave in thinking that the prospect of offer sheet isn’t on a GM’s mind. Expect Stepan to get what he wants.

          • Rare bridge contracts…lol Brodie and the Flames 2.125 2 years, Philly and Couturier 1.75 for 2 years Subban 2.8 2 years Bernier and the Leafs 2.9 2 years Rasks last RFA deal 3 years 3.2….etc Bridge deals are not rare do some research before you spout nonsense. Unless you are buying up ufa years RFAs play for smaller cheaper deal or sit unless its their 2nd rfa deal then they can file for arbitration or an offersheet comes which never works. Stepan is not going to get a deal like Stamkos or Doughty what planet are you from? If he does Sather has lost his mind and should be fired, it will be around 4 mill maybe a little more but comparable to Turris at 3.5

          • Or Duchene before his extension kicks in

          • Lol well it could be worse I could be a guy like you who has no clue, never been right and most people make fun of because you and your ideas are so bad and off base, which leads you to crying, whining and being miserable in general and just showing how ignorant and backwards you really are. Guess I can live with “pretending” to know what Im talking about.

          • Why dont you tell us again how “everybody knows Dave handels all the contracts?” Smart guy

          • Or even better explain again how you thought the number of games played over a 4 year nearly 250 game career can skew the stat of a players points per game… Genius. You are the yard stick on which all other stupid hockey conversation should be measured. We should start measuring bad or off base hockey ideas in BeerGoggles.

  3. I find it pretty interesting that the yotes might be able to spend some more money, Tippet and Maloney can get pretty good results with a cheap team, if they suddenly have the money to fill some holes and get some scoring that could be a very good team.

    • Now they have wealthier owners, who can spend more towards the maximum cap space

    • George Gosbee hinted at increasing payroll, but cowered away when asked if he would spend to the cap. Don’t expect a $10M/year increase.

      • I’m also interested in Gosbee’s new plan, which he says is unique. (we may never see it) They change from Phoenxi to Arizona, which is smart, but not certain if that’s going to save them. They really need to move that arena to Phoenix.

        Unless I see anything remotely close to unique, I can’t expect anything else but gone in 5 or less.

        • They put a team together that makes some noise in the playoffs for a year or 2 revenue will go up high enough to make it viable enough to keep it there, the team loses just over 30mill per year the new lease agreement the partnership with Global Spectrum and revenue streams thru there with more events more parking etc will greatly help with that Brand change will attract more people, new cba with more revenue sharing. 50 million in losses in 5 years could still occur but if its run properly and they have a winning product making playoff revenue this team will be much better shape then it has in the past.

          • yep, nothing new.
            they’ve had a fantastic ownership in the past, great management, and excellent performances as of late… still bleed 25 +
            there needs to be a significant change in plan, not just bs fluff as always. revenue sharing is a sustainable plan. they need to be able to support themselves.
            parking revenue isn’t going to pay the rent.
            unless the change in plan is crazy different, they’re gone in 5 or less

          • Lease arrangement went from under 7million to 15 million for managing the arena to my knowledge 8 million dollars is nearly 30% of what you are saying the lost in a year plus more events = more revenue and parking for 15000-20000 cars at concerts and shows plus the ticket to get in to more events adds up pretty quick idiot, plus as I said more playoffs equals more revenue and a much better revenue sharing plan then what was there before the NHL took over the team the team could possibly still lose money but it could also work if things work out its in much better shape then it was.

          • woh, adult much?

          • I don’t see the Yotes surviving. The rebranding will not be as big as they are making it out to be. Same style team, same building. Maybe they’ll have more concerts etc but I still see them losing 10 to 15 Million per year.

          • this whole idea of more concerts is crap. do you really think previous owners didn’t think of that? just because it wasn’t announced, doesn’t mean it wasn’t attempted.

            the single biggest thing they could do is invest in moving the arena to Phx… and we all know that won’t happen.

          • Ask the St. Louis Blues if parking and a favorable lease deal has anything to the amount of revenue a team generates, as far as moving an arena didnt New Jersey just build a nice new shiny arena in town? How that work out? If you have a winning entertaining franchise people will go to games in town or not and re branding works ask the Arizona Cardinals it will be a similar model to what the Saskatchewan Rough Riders Minnisota Wild Twins and a number of other teams that are located in smaller Markets to draw from a larger one out side their metropolitan area.
            Im not saying they will make tones of money but they may not lose 50 million over the next 5 years if you look at the lease deal and the partnership with Global Spectrum (an Entertainment and managment company that makes loads of cash doing this type of thing all over the place) I am sure that they didnt have events at the same rate or quality a company like that provides. Im also sure if the new owners thought they couldnt make any money there and make loads of it somewhere else they wouldnt go thru the whole ordeal of negotiating with the city and the NHL and coming up with the revenue to purchase it now, they could have waited for it to fall apart with the city of Glendale and got a better deal on the team. Again not saying its a cant miss just saying its in far better shape now and if things go according to plan just may work out.

        • Rob, what terrific ownership are you referring to with the Yotes?? Previous owners have basically run the franchise into the ground. RSE & Ice Arizona is the 1st group that knows what hockey is and will work to get a better product off the ice as well as on. Previous owner NEVER did any marketing of any kind, that will change

          • No one spends over 200mill to buy something hoping to lose lose 50 mill to prove they were right and move a franchise thus costing more money to hope it makes money in another unknown market ie Seattle or Kansas city there is no guarantee it would go to Quebec.

          • I think there is a lot of hope that they will fail so we can see them in a market people think is better. Personally I don’t see the huge failure or massive success they’ll scrap by if they are luck but to try and bounce back from a continual loss of 30 million a year and actual start making a profit in 5 years is a difficult task.

          • Rob so far you wrote “haha”, “totaly” and “woh adult much?” I find this kind of funny coming from you and the juvenile terms you seem to use.

  4. The Coyotes have 9 defensemen with one way contracts and Maloney has stated that he is trying to find a scoring winger through a trade.

    • Not that it is a big difference, but they have 8 dmen, likely 7, as Rundblad won’t be on their roster this year.

  5. I’m confused as to why the Red Wings would shop Cory Emmerton. His salary is the lowest on the team, and he may be valuable as an extra center given Helm’s still questionable status. As much as I like him, I would think Eaves would be the better candidate to shop. They have a glut of forwards that can line up on the bottom six wing, and his $1.2 million salary coupled with Tootoo’s would give the Wings plenty of space.

    I know hindsight’s 20/20, but Holland has to be banging his head into the wall for taking that gamble on Mikael Samuelsson last summer…

    • you’re bang-on here.

    • Yeah IF Corey E is gona p,at at that pro
      Ice. While Bickell was developing but PLAYING every day he was paid around 800,000 in his previous rfa deal, but the logic from both sides was “show us” and at that price rate, we can and will pay you…and you help fit our tight CAP.
      Not so sure Corey Emmerton is that type of player, they added Weiss and Emmerton hasn’t wowed anyone as a vestatile centre-wing or strong presence who makes difference, more a quick depth centre with the guys in front of him….

    • Or signing 40 yr old Alfredsson for one season..

  6. I have no clue what happened at the start of my post above…
    BUT IF NOT, YOU FIND SOME TEAM LOOKING FOR A SPEEDY CENTRE at the bottom roster end who doesn’t have roster depth at the bottom end and has a need. (that may be more of an emergency fill if a player goes down and the other team’s farm is short of a ready to play centre…

  7. Have watched stepan and believe he would be a great asset to any team the league lots of grit and team attitude rangers had better watch out they may lose more than they like if they cheap him on a one or two yr deal

  8. The coyotes ownership group is mostly alberta oilfield big wigs , I wouldn’t be surprised if they don’t buy alot of tickets for themselves for entertainment purpose , same thing the oil companies do in Edmonton and Calgary ,