Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/26/13
The stalemate between the Rangers and Derek Stepan appears to be coming to an end with talks between the club and its presumptive first-line center having accelerated Thursday morning sources have told The Post. It is believed the parties are zeroing in on a two-year contract worth approximately $6.5 million. That would represent a split-the-difference agreement: Stepan had been seeking $7 million while the Rangers had been offering approximately $6 million. Stepan who has been skating in Madison with players from the Wisconsin varsity would likely meet the Blueshirts in New York on Sunday after they return home from Friday night’s final exhibition game in Las Vegas against the Kings. That would leave time for merely a handful of practices for Stepan to get ready for the Rangers’ opener in Phoenix on Oct. 3 as he acclimates himself to new coach Alain Vigneault’s system. The fourth-year pro has never missed a game in his NHL career having played 212 games in the regular season and 37 in the playoffs since joining the Rangers out of Wisconsin for the 2010-11 campaign. Stepan played much of last season between wingers Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin both of whom will be sidelined for the opening weeks of the season while they continue rehabbing from shoulder surgeries.
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