Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 8/12/13
One of the few question marks surrounding the Rangers before training camp opens is the status of restricted free-agent Derek Stepan. Assistant general manager Jeff Gorton said he expects a deal to get done with the 23-year-old but added the Rangers aren’t willing to break the bank to do it — especially with the salary cap being reduced this season. “I think there’s always a way to make a deal” Gorton said Thursday. At a Yankee Stadium press conference for January’s NHL Stadium Series involving the Rangers Islanders and Devils Gorton said coming to an agreement with Stepan is “definitely difficult for us.” “You don’t have an unlimited amount of money left so that’s upon us and the player to work it out.” Gorton also said that though he “didn’t want to rule anything out” he believes the Rangers will remain under the $64.3 million cap. That means they have roughly $3 million to spend depending on other moves they make before the start of the season. Gorton made it clear Stepan is an important piece going forward. “There’s no denying [Stepan’s] a big player for us” Gorton said. “He’s one of our core guys.” Another member of the Rangers’ core Ryan Callahan has begun skating after offseason left shoulder surgery but said there’s no timetable for his return. “Pretty soon I can start shooting so come training camp time I can be shooting and skating” Callahan said. “I think the big thing with the shoulder is contact.”
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