A restricted free agent, Larry Brooks of the New York Post reported Stepan to be seeking a five- or six-year contract worth around $5 million per season, while the Rangers are believed to be offering a two-year contract between $2.75-$3 million person.
Stepan led the Rangers in scoring last season with 44 points (18 goals, 26 assists). Defenseman Ryan McDonagh had a message for his teammate: "Stay positive."
"It's a tough situation for him or anyone to be in," McDonagh said. "He's such a competitive guy and loves the game of hockey. You've got to go with what your agent, and yourself, and your family and your friends all feel. As soon as he gets back here, which we're confident he will, he's going to be welcomed and we’re going to utilize his talents for sure."