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View Full Version : Derek Stepan: A Breakout Year to Break the Bank?



Phil in Absentia
11-14-2014, 12:38 PM
This is an extremely small sample size, but he's currently pacing 71 points (18 goals, 53 assists) over 70 games. That's a 1.01 P/G pace (we'll call it 1.0 P/G for arguments sake), which is a pretty substantial increase to any P/G pace he's ever performed at in the past. The closest he's come to replicating this kind of production was the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season where he paced 0.92 P/G over 48 games. Had that been a full season and he'd kept that pace, it'd have left him with 75 points (31 goals, 44 assists).

I realize the data can't be entirely trusted due to the number of games I'm basing this on, but when you also factor in for the eyeball test, Stepan looks noticeably improved, no? Absolutely understanding the small number of games played, I still don't think it's that crazy to think that even with some mathematical regression, we may end up seeing the best season out of him thus far in his career. His career high in points thus far has been 57 in 82 games (last season). Personally, I'd be stoked if he padded that by another ten points, give or take. 65~ points over 82 games would put him right in line with some of the premiere two-way forwards in the league notably Patrice Bergeron, Ryan O'Reilly and David Krejci.

But this brings us to the only real draw back to this the fact he is also in a contract year. This kind of breakout could pretty quickly break the Rangers' bank if he can't be reasonable about an extension, especially when you take into account the potential impact of the cap not actually increasing next season (http://www.blueshirtsbrotherhood.com/showthread.php?15007-Good-Chance-NHL-Salary-Cap-Will-Not-Increase-Next-Season).

PuckHead and I touched on this briefly last night in the GDT regarding Ryan O'Reilly, who he called a contract nightmare (rightfully so). The problem is, Stepan will be exiting his bridge contract this season, and will have played five seasons at the expiration of his current deal. The way I see it, he has one more season of RFA eligibility. After that, it's all UFA years, which means any extension for him this season that is beyond a single year will come at the cost of eating those UFA-eligible seasons. Translation? Break out the check book, Slats. This one won't be cheap.

Bretzky
11-14-2014, 01:02 PM
This is an extremely small sample size, but he's currently pacing 71 points (18 goals, 53 assists) over 70 games. That's a 1.01 P/G pace (we'll call it 1.0 P/G for arguments sake), which is a pretty substantial increase to any P/G pace he's ever performed at in the past. The closest he's come to replicating this kind of production was the lockout-shortened 2012-13 season where he paced 0.92 P/G over 48 games. Had that been a full season and he'd kept that pace, it'd have left him with 75 points (31 goals, 44 assists).

I realize the data can't be entirely trusted due to the number of games I'm basing this on, but when you also factor in for the eyeball test, Stepan looks noticeably improved, no? Absolutely understanding the small number of games played, I still don't think it's that crazy to think that even with some mathematical regression, we may end up seeing the best season out of him thus far in his career. His career high in points thus far has been 57 in 82 games (last season). Personally, I'd be stoked if he padded that by another ten points, give or take. 65~ points over 82 games would put him right in line with some of the premiere two-way forwards in the league — notably Patrice Bergeron, Ryan O'Reilly and David Krejci.

But this brings us to the only real draw back to this — the fact he is also in a contract year. This kind of breakout could pretty quickly break the Rangers' bank if he can't be reasonable about an extension, especially when you take into account the potential impact of the cap not actually increasing next season (http://www.blueshirtsbrotherhood.com/showthread.php?15007-Good-Chance-NHL-Salary-Cap-Will-Not-Increase-Next-Season).

PuckHead and I touched on this briefly last night in the GDT regarding Ryan O'Reilly, who he called a contract nightmare (rightfully so). The problem is, Stepan will be exiting his bridge contract this season, and will have played five seasons at the expiration of his current deal. The way I see it, he has one more season of RFA eligibility. After that, it's all UFA years, which means any extension for him this season that is beyond a single year will come at the cost of eating those UFA-eligible seasons. Translation? Break out the check book, Slats. This one won't be cheap.

I'm definitely secretly concerned about how this will play out, Phil.

Of course we all want Stepan to be the best player he can be. But a part of me just wishes he could wait until after signing a new long-term deal to truly break out :P

Either way, I'm fine with giving Stepan 6M on the dot for 5+ years. He's McDonagh's right hand man. He's a part of our young yet impressively mature leadership core. He seems to have chemistry with any wingers he's put with. He's had chemistry with Nash, St. Louis, Hagelin, Zuccarello, and we all know the synergistic effect of Kreider and Stepan lining up together.

My only issue is if his agent (he) starts pulling a Callahan (I don't think he will) and asking for much more than he's really worth. I'm fine giving him 42M over 7 years (6M even cap-hit). It's when we start going to 6.25, 6.5 and above that my attitude towards the player would start to change. With that said, I don't think Stepan is going to hold us ransom. I think both sides will meet somewhere in the middle and settle on a contract that breeds success for the team as well as for Derek.

About his on-ice performance thus far: Like you said, it's way too early to be drawing much in the way of conclusions, but he looks mentally sharp, and watching him the last 2-3 games, I was reminded of how quickly he reads the play. Subtle little plays like taking a peek over your shoulder before getting to the puck = Derek knows what he's going to do with the puck before he gets it, and is thus able to catch defenders before they can react / realize the play that's being created. His brain is by far his best hockey asset. We are lucky to have him. Hopefully it all works out.

Puck Head
11-14-2014, 01:12 PM
Not sure I'd put O'Reilly as one of the premire two-way forwards of the league.
He's had two seasons where he has exceeded 26 pts. I thought he had made that jump last year, but he seems to have regressed some this season.


Stepan has been under contract for 5 years.
During that time he has averaged 1.5 million in salary. Fact is he's been playing for cheap.
Someone like ROR has earned on average 4 million in salary during his short career.

Stepan is gonna cost us.

Phil in Absentia
11-14-2014, 01:16 PM
His agent is Matt Oates of O2K Management. His clients include Scott Hartnell, Tyler Ennis (recently signed a five-year/$23M extension), T.J. Oshie, Wayne Simmonds and Jason Garrison.

My guess, at least today, is he ends up right around the $6M mark on a max-allowed eight-year term, simply because it's the only way the Rangers will be able to get under contract at the lowest annual average possible.

Not that anything could have been done about it, because the Rangers couldn't have afforded to offer him the extension at the time, but no matter what deal he signs, it's gonna make the Rangers look a little silly for rejecting the mirror contract he wanted to sign when the Rangers extended Ryan McDonagh. The Richards contract, and others, prevented them from doing so (not to mention they wanted to sweat him out due to his playoff collapses to that point), but how great would it look to have both Stepan and McDonagh at $4.7M to the end fo the 2018-19 season?

Phil in Absentia
11-14-2014, 01:19 PM
Not sure I'd put O'Reilly as one of the premire two-way forwards of the league.
He's had two seasons where he has exceeded 26 pts. I thought he had made that jump last year, but he seems to have regressed some this season.


Stepan has been under contract for 5 years.
During that time he has averaged 1.5 million in salary. Fact is he's been playing for cheap.
Someone like ROR has earned on average 4 million in salary during his short career.

Stepan is gonna cost us.

Of course he's been playing for cheap. You are factoring in a standard entry-level contract to artificially lower his average. Every player is subjected to one, so that's pretty disingenuous. Not that career averages for players like this matters anyway. Not when it comes to determining the value of a third contract.

The biggest key here will be comparing his would-be deal to deals already signed under this new CBA. That's what's going to determine his value. Not his average salary from the point he entered the league. The Travis Zajac deal is going to be a baseline here, IMO. Eight years, $5.75M AAV. I can't see Stepan getting any less than that under any circumstances. The Logan Couture contract (five years, $6M AAV) and the Matt Duchene contract (five years, $6M AAV) also apply.

G1000
11-14-2014, 01:41 PM
Won't be a terribly popular sentiment, but extend him now.

See if he'll take 8 years, 42.5M before he has a chance to pick up numbers to start thinking about 50M.

Phil in Absentia
11-14-2014, 01:55 PM
Won't be a terribly popular sentiment, but extend him now.

See if he'll take 8 years, 42.5M before he has a chance to pick up numbers to start thinking about 50M.

I believe he has to wait until January 1st to sign, if I recall correctly, but I'd be OK with that.

I just don't think the Rangers would. They almost never extend anyone mid-season. The only two players I can recall who have in recent memory were Lundqvist and Girardi. Before them had to be Tyutin, maybe?

AmericanJesus
11-14-2014, 02:00 PM
Won't be a terribly popular sentiment, but extend him now.

See if he'll take 8 years, 42.5M before he has a chance to pick up numbers to start thinking about 50M.

In theory, but we have to wait and see where the cap falls. If the doom and gloomers are right about the cap staying the same, we're going to have some extremely difficult decisions to make:

$23M in space to sign/replace:

MSL (UFA)
MZA (UFA)
Staal (UFA)
Hunwick (UFA)
Talbot (UFA)

Stepan (RFA)
Hagelin (RFA)
Moore (RFA)
Fast (RFA)


While Hunwick, Moore, Stemp, Talbot and Fast's spots aren't going to increase, they'll still average around $800K for five bodies. That's $4M, leaving $19M for the others. If we wanted to keep them all (5) at $4M a piece on average, we would be over the cap. And only MSL (bonuses) and Hagelin will probably be at or less than $4M. Quite frankly, at least one of those names can't be on the roster next season if the cap doesn't rise significantly. And probably 2 of those names.

Phil in Absentia
11-14-2014, 02:02 PM
In theory, but we have to wait and see where the cap falls. If the doom and gloomers are right about the cap staying the same, we're going to have some extremely difficult decisions to make:

$23M in space to sign/replace:

MSL (UFA)
MZA (UFA)
Staal (UFA)
Hunwick (UFA)
Talbot (UFA)

Stepan (RFA)
Hagelin (RFA)
Moore (RFA)
Fast (RFA)


While Hunwick, Moore, Stemp, Talbot and Fast's spots aren't going to increase, they'll still average around $800K for five bodies. That's $4M, leaving $19M for the others. If we wanted to keep them all (5) at $4M a piece on average, we would be over the cap. And only MSL (bonuses) and Hagelin will probably be at or less than $4M. Quite frankly, at least one of those names can't be on the roster next season if the cap doesn't rise significantly. And probably 2 of those names.

Assuming no other, under-contract player, is dealt at some point this season, yes.

But as it pertains specifically to Stepan, I don't see a scenario where he's dealt this season. Not at this rate. Not the way he's playing.

Puck Head
11-14-2014, 02:30 PM
Of course he's been playing for cheap. You are factoring in a standard entry-level contract to artificially lower his average. Every player is subjected to one, so that's pretty disingenuous. Not that career averages for players like this matters anyway. Not when it comes to determining the value of a third contract.

The biggest key here will be comparing his would-be deal to deals already signed under this new CBA. That's what's going to determine his value. Not his average salary from the point he entered the league. The Travis Zajac deal is going to be a baseline here, IMO. Eight years, $5.75M AAV. I can't see Stepan getting any less than that under any circumstances. The Logan Couture contract (five years, $6M AAV) and the Matt Duchene contract (five years, $6M AAV) also apply.

The point was made that these cheap 2nd contracts are just that, and end up costing us if we plan on keeping the player long term.
I know it's a gamble, but in this case we might have been better off getting Stepan under a contract similar to McD, (but a tad cheaper).
Kreider up next.

Phil in Absentia
11-14-2014, 02:31 PM
The point was made that these cheap 2nd contracts are just that, and end up costing us if we plan on keeping the player long term.
I know it's a gamble, but in this case we might have been better off getting Stepan under a contract similar to McD, (but a tad cheaper).
Kreider up next.

Yeah, I mentioned so before. The problem is/was, they couldn't afford it, and at the time, there were reports that the front office were extremely disappointed with his post-season performances. It wasn't until this past playoffs that he finally produced at a healthy rate, so you can understand the reservations they had in extending him early.

Puck Head
11-14-2014, 02:34 PM
Yeah, I mentioned so before. The problem is/was, they couldn't afford it, and at the time, there were reports that the front office were extremely disappointed with his post-season performances. It wasn't until this past playoffs that he finally produced at a healthy rate, so you can understand the reservations they had in extending him early.

Understand completely.
Like I said, it's a roll of the dice on these bridge contracts.

McD 6 years at 4.7 is a steal.
Probably couldn't have gotten Stepan 6 years at 4 million.
Which would look REAL good about now.

Pete
11-14-2014, 02:35 PM
He's building a reputation as a guy who plays for contracts. Long term deals for these type of players concern me.

Phil in Absentia
11-14-2014, 02:39 PM
Understand completely.
Like I said, it's a roll of the dice on these bridge contracts.

McD 6 years at 4.7 is a steal.
Probably couldn't have gotten Stepan 6 years at 4 million.
Which would look REAL good about now.

Stepan wanted a mirror contract (https://twitter.com/TSNBobMcKenzie/status/374957160523767808) to McDonagh's before signing his bridge. Would have been both of them at $4.7M for six years.

Puck Head
11-14-2014, 02:47 PM
He's building a reputation as a guy who plays for contracts. Long term deals for these type of players concern me.

And that I simply don't see.
He's been on a steady increase of production his whole career with the exception of that massive season during the shortened lockout.
After almost a PPG season he signed for 3 million per season, and was hoping to get long term at around 4.5

His contract demands weren't based on a PPG young player, they were based around a 40-50pt player which he exceeded anyways.

Pete
11-14-2014, 02:50 PM
And that I simply don't see.
He's been on a steady increase of production his whole career with the exception of that massive season during the shortened lockout.
After almost a PPG season he signed for 3 million per season, and was hoping to get long term at around 4.5

His contract demands weren't based on a PPG young player, they were based around a 40-50pt player which he exceeded anyways.You simply can't argue the numbers, dude. It's right in front of you and I said it the beginning of last season when his play was sub-par.

His only P/G season was in a contract year. His next P/G pace is happenning in a contract year. Coincidence?

We'll see what he asks for.

Puck Head
11-14-2014, 02:54 PM
Pete,
How many PPG players do you know out there getting 3 million on their second contract?
That's how I know he's NOT playing for the contract.

Pete
11-14-2014, 02:56 PM
Pete,
How many PPG players do you know out there getting 3 million on their second contract?
That's how I know he's NOT playing for the contract.

His production increases in contract years. That's my point.

Another GM might have given him $6 x 5 after his P/G season. But Glen isn't other GMs.

Myusername
11-14-2014, 03:02 PM
I don't think Stepan is going to finish at a point per game. The sample size is so small now you can pretty much throw it away

I see him signing long-term for 5 - 5.5 million

Honestly, even if he gets 6 I wouldn't cry. The guy is one of the better two-way forwards in the league. I think it's a safe bet you'll get at least your moneys worth

Future
11-14-2014, 03:03 PM
In theory, but we have to wait and see where the cap falls. If the doom and gloomers are right about the cap staying the same, we're going to have some extremely difficult decisions to make:

$23M in space to sign/replace:

MSL (UFA)
MZA (UFA)
Staal (UFA)
Hunwick (UFA)
Talbot (UFA)

Stepan (RFA)
Hagelin (RFA)
Moore (RFA)
Fast (RFA)

I think, out of that list, Hags is probably the only one who gets away. Put a low tender on him and then if someone bites, get a pick. All you can really do I think.

But you can't rule out being able to move some people to free up a bit of room. Maybe Boyle, if he doesn't play great, can go. Maybe they try to move Dom Moore, Glass (if anyone would take him) can be expendable, and there should be an OK market for Klein if a young D can step up.

Pete
11-14-2014, 03:08 PM
The way Zucc is playing...Gotta wonder if you'd rather have Hagelin.

Future
11-14-2014, 03:19 PM
I'm not as big a fan of Hags as some, but in my eyes, he's only a borderline top 9 forward. Zucc hasn't been on top of his game so far this year, but if he turns it around he's worth a lot more than Hags.

Slobberknocker
11-14-2014, 03:53 PM
i think your looking at 6mln per plus with Steps. i would not have given it to Cally but i would give it to him. Homegrown guy and all it takes is to look at the flux he caused us being out of the lineup.

i think his game is improving and I'm very impressed that he has hit the ground running since coming back from his injury. i'd very much look into extending him after Jan 1 if you get him to take a hometeam discount. you let him hit FA, he's as good as gone in my book. While not the highly sought after 1a center with size he will have many suitors if he tests UFA.

i wonder how much of a point output he'd have to have this year in order for us to view him as a 1a center.

Seeing Hunwick as a UFA and someone we need to consider signing made me laugh. That guys stock is on the rise. :)

Puck Head
11-14-2014, 04:15 PM
Hopefully Stepan gets 70 games this season.
I think a outstanding point total for him would be around 55pts.

And IM that's worth around 5.5 per year x 5

Future
11-14-2014, 04:26 PM
Hopefully Stepan gets 70 games this season.
I think a outstanding point total for him would be around 55pts.

And IM that's worth around 5.5 per year x 5
Yea, probably.

But the "problem" arises if he does that and has 70 points. His price goes up at least a million if that's the case.

Zuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuc
11-14-2014, 06:59 PM
What would it take for us to get a 1st round pick? Is Hags/Moore/Staal good enough? It could solve the cap space problem (atleast for now), and we could finally have a 1st round pick again.

Puck Head
11-14-2014, 07:09 PM
What would it take for us to get a 1st round pick? Is Hags/Moore/Staal good enough? It could solve the cap space problem (atleast for now), and we could finally have a 1st round pick again.

Depends with whom, and which Moore.
Staal pretty much gets you a 1st round pick alone. Unless you are dealing with the 4 or 5 teams frantically trying to get to last place this season.

Zuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuc
11-14-2014, 07:20 PM
Depends with whom, and which Moore.
Staal pretty much gets you a 1st round pick alone. Unless you are dealing with the 4 or 5 teams frantically trying to get to last place this season.

Maybe around 10-15th overall pick, would it be enough with Hags+J.Moore? We already got Duke+Hunwick that can replace them, so if it is possible, I would atleast consider it.

Myusername
11-14-2014, 07:24 PM
I'd see what Hagelin wants first before moving him. His speed and board work adds an element to the team that I don't want to lose.

Puck Head
11-14-2014, 08:36 PM
Maybe around 10-15th overall pick, would it be enough with Hags+J.Moore? We already got Duke+Hunwick that can replace them, so if it is possible, I would atleast consider it.

This years draft is a little different.
3 possible generational players

Then players 4 thru 9 could be overall number 1 picks in other various years possibly.
Unless we moved into the top 10, I'd have to really question what we want to give up.

Pete
11-14-2014, 08:46 PM
This years draft is a little different.
3 possible generational players

Then players 4 thru 9 could be overall number 1 picks in other various years possibly.
Unless we moved into the top 10, I'd have to really question what we want to give up.

Who's your 3? Hanifin?

Puck Head
11-14-2014, 08:54 PM
Who's your 3? Hanifin?

Yep.
Most things I've read call him the best defensive prospect coming into the draft in a dozen years or so.
Although you probably know by now I'm not big on taking defenseman with number 1 overall.
But he's getting compared to Neidemeyer, Keith, etc.

I think the top two spots are a lock, and Hanifin number 3.
But a lot has to do with him playing defense in the NCAA as a 17 year old, (youngest ever at Boston).

His transition this year is tougher then Eichel, (due to position), and much tougher then McDavid in the CHL.
Hanifin could have jumped to the CHL this summer and tore it up, (thus guaranteed number 3 spot).

momentum
11-15-2014, 05:53 AM
Won't be a terribly popular sentiment, but extend him now.

See if he'll take 8 years, 42.5M before he has a chance to pick up numbers to start thinking about 50M.Would love to make that investment in Stepan right now, he's a good player and very well liked, but around 6 mil is where he is with me and if he has a really good season I think he will start asking for 6.5 mil and up per year and I would just not be willing to go there, I'd rather move him then and look elsewhere.
I REALLY hope he doesn't do a Callahan where he over values himself or tries to squeeze every last little penny he possibly can while preaching how he LOVES new york and only wants to play there. It just leaves a bad taste in the mouth and I don't like it.
Hope he's realistic and both him and NY could be happy. If he signs here for 8 years and goes on to having a great career without too many injuries he could go down as a very rich man who's one of the all time Rangers greats.

Respecttheblue
11-15-2014, 11:06 AM
...
I realize the data can't be entirely trusted due to the number of games I'm basing this on, but when you also factor in for the eyeball test, Stepan looks noticeably improved, no? Absolutely understanding the small number of games played, I still don't think it's that crazy to think that even with some mathematical regression, we may end up seeing the best season out of him thus far in his career. His career high in points thus far has been 57 in 82 games (last season). Personally, I'd be stoked if he padded that by another ten points, give or take. 65~ points over 82 games would put him right in line with some of the premiere two-way forwards in the league — notably Patrice Bergeron, Ryan O'Reilly and David Krejci.


I have no problem with that estimation; it seems with the top 9 mostly collectively raising their game, and support from the D, that those numbers, or something close to them could happen. Might see a slowing down if the team tightens up on D as the season rolls on toward the playoffs, but that's something we could factor in.


But this brings us to the only real draw back to this — the fact he is also in a contract year. This kind of breakout could pretty quickly break the Rangers' bank if he can't be reasonable about an extension, especially when you take into account the potential impact of the cap not actually increasing next season (http://www.blueshirtsbrotherhood.com/showthread.php?15007-Good-Chance-NHL-Salary-Cap-Will-Not-Increase-Next-Season).

PuckHead and I touched on this briefly last night in the GDT regarding Ryan O'Reilly, who he called a contract nightmare (rightfully so). The problem is, Stepan will be exiting his bridge contract this season, and will have played five seasons at the expiration of his current deal. The way I see it, he has one more season of RFA eligibility. After that, it's all UFA years, which means any extension for him this season that is beyond a single year will come at the cost of eating those UFA-eligible seasons. Translation? Break out the check book, Slats. This one won't be cheap.

Looks like another "Oh Shit!" scenario to me. Just when we thought we'd offloaded enough salary with Richards, and guys due for/getting big raises like Callahan, Pouliot, Stralman, Boyle and Prust, along comes another cap conundrum with Stepan, Zuccarello, Hagelin, J Moore and Staal, all about to knock/already knocking on the GM's door.

We really do need some of these kids to step up and develop, especially on D, but elsewhere too, even wing, to relieve some of the pressure if shit happens and we can't sign one or two players that most would want to keep. Good thing Hayes is coming along at a nice pace, but it's not realistic to expect him to produce like a fully-fledged top-6 pro, and with playoff poise, for a while. Good news is is doing what we need right now as a 3rd line. Will it be asking too much in the playoffs for him to compete at a even-fewer-mistakes level. Maybe we have no choice, but it's a long season, and things will be revealed, I guess.

Steps -- I do see him getting signed, unless Slats sees a better value out there -- and we know how hard it is to get prime-years-of-career talent in the middle, so not holding my breath on a contender-caliber 1L/2L center at a better price. Something else will probably have to give, and I don't even want to think about it ... at least not for the moment (head in sand ;) ).


Would love to make that investment in Stepan right now, he's a good player and very well liked, but around 6 mil is where he is with me and if he has a really good season I think he will start asking for 6.5 mil and up per year and I would just not be willing to go there, I'd rather move him then and look elsewhere.
I REALLY hope he doesn't do a Callahan where he over values himself or tries to squeeze every last little penny he possibly can while preaching how he LOVES new york and only wants to play there. It just leaves a bad taste in the mouth and I don't like it.
Hope he's realistic and both him and NY could be happy. If he signs here for 8 years and goes on to having a great career without too many injuries he could go down as a very rich man who's one of the all time Rangers greats.

I hear you, and I think Slats won't be able to afford to over pay him. Where that $ line in the sand will be, and what true market value will be (if it comes to that) I don't know.