Updates on Stepan, Raymond and Tatar – September 16, 2013.

Updates on Derek Stepan’s contract holdout, Mason Raymond’s status with the Maple Leafs and Tomas Tatar’s with the Red Wings.

NEW YORK POST/NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Money remains the sticking point in Derek Stepan’s contract impasse with the New York Rangers.  It’s believed the two sides are separated by $1 million over two years. Stepan is apparently seeking a two-year deal worth $7 million while the Rangers have countered with just under $6 million. Depending on the final roster, the Rangers could have between $3 – $3.5 million in cap space.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’s the cap space which is the problem for the Rangers and why they’re offer less than $3 million per season to Stepan. It might explain why they’ve invited Johan Hedberg to training camp, for if he outplays current backup Martin Biron, they could trade the latter and free up additional cap space.

Mason Raymond soon to become a Maple Leaf?

Mason Raymond soon to become a Maple Leaf?

TORONTO SUN: Rob Longley was impressed with winger Mason Raymond’s performance in the Maple Leafs 4-3 preseason win over the Philadelphia Flyers. Raymond tallied a shorthanded goal, and Longley speculates the winger could be signed to a contract “any day now”.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If so, a c0ntract for Raymond will cut further into the Leafs remaining $1.995 million cap space, meaning they’ll have to trade Franson, or free up salary via trade, waivers or demotion to re-sign him.

MLIVE.COM: Detroit Red Wings forward Tomas Tatar, concerned he could be dealt, received a vote of confidence from GM Ken Holland, who said Tatar will likely make the roster.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Red Wings are roughly $2.3 million over the salary cap and must shed salary by the start of the season to become cap compliant. If Tatar indeed makes the roster, Holland will have to move someone else.


  1. I know its just the first preseason game but after watching that game last night I think Fransons days as a Leaf are numbered unless someone takes Liles very soon. Ranger and Rielly looked very good and McWilliam and looked pretty good too.

    • And the Flyers should cut Hal Gill immediately.

      • Agreed about Gill, he looked like a pylon and hopefully he will be cut ..

        P.S yes it is just 1st game but Liles looked like poop outthere. I do not know why you like him so much….. I doubt Canes will trade for him.

        • I think Liles could still be a bottom pairing type D to say I like him so much is a bit of an overstatement. What I dont like is how alot of people were saying we should trade Lilies a D man who has 313 points in 620 games and give the same type of contract to Franson who is the same type PMD player who is prone to bad giveaways the same as Liles but far less proven. It makes no sense to get rid of 1 bad contract to sign another. Both in my eyes are at best a number 4 guy and would do best to probably play with Fraser on the bottom pairing and maybe the second pp unit.

          • Even more so now that people can see what we have in the system with guys like Ranger Rielly Percy Blacker McWilliam Granberg etc. We really dont need to have contracts like Liles or dealing with Franson contract in the next year or so at most many of these guys will be able to play 16-18 mins a game. To say they would fill Dions 26 plus minutes would be a stretch right now but they need playing time on the big team to work their way up to it.

          • Franson a number 4 at best?You do know that he finished in the top 10 in points among defensemen last year,right?If,in your mind, Franson is a no.4 “at best”,then your mind has no idea what it’s talking about.

          • Blah blah blah yes I know top 10 in points playing weak lines and pp time read what I said and look over the stats soon as be started playing top 2 line competition his plus minus that everyone is so impressed with dropped like a rock from +12 to plus 4 so basically argue that he went – 8 after moving up from the bottom pair to second pairing, now extrapolate what would happen puting him up against top lines on a consistent basis would be like. Franson is a second pairing D at best.

          • Yes Franson is a 2nd pairing at best meaning top 3-4 defenseman. What he has done in a limited role last year in a shortened season should have little baring on his actual worth. If the Leafs need to trade him I say do so but get some value for him now why his value seems to be worth so much now (hype and misperception).

          • Kid, a D-Man is not about getting points. It’s about trying to shut down the other team from scoring on you. I rather have a D-Man that doesn’t get a whole lot of points, but could shut down the other teams best players.

    • I move ANY defenceman on that blueline, including Gardiner, if that’s what it takes to get Franson under contract. Liles is obviously the weaker link but if Ranger can continue to progress and potentially play top 4 minutes, why not shop Gunnarsson?

      • I agree, I have watched a lot of leaf games and I personally feel Gunnarsson is over-rated. He seems to be over matched strength wise at times and he gets bumped off the puck way to often. We do need another strong defensive minded d-man but Gunnarsson is not it.

  2. If Nonis signs Raymond and still wants to sign Franson he must have some deal in the works or something else up his sleeve. Whatever it is I wish he would just do it already.

    • Agreed the suspense thing is terrible lol

  3. I think Franson is going to Canes…They need a d-men and they have speace. Wonder about asking price for Franson.

    • Hoping a center prospect.

    • Don’t forget that the Av’s are looking for a d-man as well

  4. Don’t get the Rangers – did they think they could lowball Stepan and that he would go along with it. I’m just a little confused as why they signed Moore (who didn’t play last year) for $1M which could have been used for Stepan. To me…..their actions speak volumes andif I were Stepan I would sign a 1 year deal and be done.

    Franson is an offensive D-man and he has a very good +/- and ranks up there in points. Sending him to CO or Car for a draft pick or prospect would benefit either team.

    • But at just a million they could bury Moore if they had to. Maybe Moore is the backup plan in case Stepan holds out for any length of time? I also think tbere is a good chance they give Biron away to another team looking for a back up if Hedberg plays well, he may be a fit for Florida.

  5. I think the Canes are done looking for defence unless it is a D for D trade. They have high hopes on offensive Ds Ryan Murphy and Justin Faulk who should both get top 6 minutes. Then they signed Hainsey and Komisarek. Sure Franson would help their PP but I don’t know who the Canes take out. Liles could help run their PP too but we would have to make it a salary dump type trade give say Lile and a 2nd for their later round pick aka 5th.

    If I were the Canes I would be patient.

    • lol at Hainsey and Komisarek.

    • 2 very green D men and Komi and Hainsey spells a long year for the Canes if they dont get another guy at least to play some minutes. I disagree the canes are going to need help on the back end, Im pretty sure Liles or Franson makes that D a little better. Komi couldn’t take either guys job as a Leaf so…

  6. Franson is my favorite Leaf defender, but with so many D prospects in the system we might be forced to trade him especially if we can’t make the cap work.

    • Also Reilly, Ranger and Granberg are ready to compete for his job today.

  7. Easy sign Raymond 1 year 1.2 million, leaves 800k demote holzer and and Trevor Smith, frees up 1.3 million so that’s 2.1 million then trade McClaren to Edmonton for a 5th rounder that’s 700k so you have 2.8 to get it done with Franson, you scafrice toughness (which we have more then last year for speed) aka Clarkson and Bolland. Where is toughness (MCclaren in playoffs,) Shawn Thorton wanted nothing to do with Orr

    • That’s an awesome idea on paper. But how do you suppose they replace two of those guys to ice a 23 man roster while their cap is maxed out? If they sign raymond and franson and dump three guys they’d only have 21 players on the team.

  8. Everyone needs to calm down. This is not Dave Nonis first Rodeo. I’m certain the Leafs will sign Mason Raymond as the Leafs have a need on the Wing. In terms of Cody Franson I’m also certain he will sign and end his hold out. As long as the Leafs get under the Salary cap by Oct. 1st/13 it doesn’t matter how far over the CAP they are. Every General Manager in the League right now is evaluating what they have. They will want to see if there are any stand outs in camp. After 3 exhibition games General Manager soon know what their needs are and then they will talk to the Leafs about players like JML and a like that your so anxious to get out of town. Franson had a good playoff and a nice half shorted season. Lets not to the Leaf fan thing and over value our talent. The Leafs have a ton NHL ready and quality defencmen. Cody cannot play anywhere else so RELAX and let Dave do his job.

  9. With all due respect to Spector, who I usually agree with, I don’t agree about the Stepan/Hedberg situation.

    I think Sather is playing hardball with Stepan, as he does with all his RFAs that threaten to holdout. I don’t think it hinges on Hedberg/Biron at all. To me, with the knowledge that Henrik will play 70+ games anyway:

    Lundqvist + any goalie making minimum (Hedberg or otherwise) + Stepan

    is better than

    Lundqvist + Biron, but no Stepan

    With than in mind, if they wanted to sign Stepan, they could already just make that happen and prepare to trade / waive Biron.

    They would find a serviceable goalie for league minimum, even if Hedberg fails. The team would be better with any backup goalie + Stepan, so if they were only trying out Hedberg to find cap space, they could have signed Stepan already and already let Biron know he’d be on the move.

    In my mind, they’re simply not budging on dollars for Stepan. Just my opinion!