Stepan: No Bitterness

After finally signing his two-year, $6.15 million contract with the Rangers yesterday, Derek Stepan discussed the arduous process with Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record

“There’s no bitterness. At a young age in my career here, I got to see the business side of it. It doesn’t go as smoothly as you think sometimes. It’s a hard thing to grasp and not take it personally. I had people around me tell me, ‘Don’t take it personally.’ I’m just glad we were able to get something done.”

Gross adds that the plan for Stepan will be to undergo medical testing today, skate on his own at the Rangers’ practice facility tomorrow and then rejoin his teammates when they resume practicing on Sunday.

Stepan, who had been practicing with the University of Wisconsin hockey team, did not rule out the season opener in Phoenix next Thursday…

“I’m not far off. There are some times when i need to catch up a bit but I don’t think I’m too far off.”

…i don't think there's any chance Stepan's not in the line-up when the season opens against the Coyotes. Especially with the way the team has been playing. The concern now is if a week is enough time to get Stepan up to date on the new system. Even if it's not, expect him to be thrown in there anyway.

…so how quickly will Rangers fans turn on Stepan when he goes pointless in his first five games? lol

…as far as any bad blood lingering between Stepan and the Rangers, I just don't see it as an issue. Both sides know this is a business and that they're just looking out for their own best interests.

Here's video of Stepan skating at MSG training facility today (via Rangers Instagram)…

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