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.