Derek Stepan trade rumors will persist all season, here’s why

Stepan (Getty)

Stepan (Getty)

The draft has passed and Derek Stepan is still a Ranger. Free agent frenzy has come and gone, Stepan still remains. Larry Brooks has also provided inside info that the Rangers are reluctant to trade him.

Key word is RELUCTANT, because they are not opposed to it and here’s why, he has a No Move Clause coming.

Via the NYDN on July 27th, 2015:

Stepan said the contract includes a full no-trade clause in years three and four and a 15-team limited no-trade clause for years five and six. He is not eligible for a no-trade clause in years one and two, which would have been restricted free agency years.

That’s right, on July 1st of 2017 trading Stepan will be near impossible. Think it doesn’t matter? One of the key components in Montreal deciding to trade P.K. Subban to Nashville was just that.

This was further explained by Cat Silverman from Today’s Slapshot:

When the Canadiens inked Subban to his current contract – which spans eight seasons and pays out an annual average of $9 million each season – the team granted the defenseman a no-movement clause, set to kick in on July 1st of 2016. Subban would not have been eligible to qualify for a NMC before that time.

Per the 2013 CBA, though, deals that are traded before a player’s no-trade or no-movement clause kicks in don’t necessarily bring those restrictions with them. It is up to the discretion of the teams bringing the player on board to determine whether they will honor the restrictions or not – and in this case, the Predators have chosen no to honor the NMC in Subban’s deal.

Jeff Gorton wants to change this team and he can’t. He is handcuffed by Rick Nash‘s limited no trade clause, and imprisoned by the no move clauses of both Dan Girardi and Marc Staal. In the case of Keith Yandle who was likely never going to be signed by salary demands alone, Gorton probably knew he wanted a no movement clause also (which FL gave him).

If the Rangers had landed Steven Stamkos in free agency, Derek Stepan would have been traded. Should the Rangers struggle this season, he may very well be moved by the trade deadline for a king’s ransom. Should Stepan emerge as a point-a-game center this year, I think the Rangers swallow the pill and let his clause kick in.

Bottom line is this, these Derek Stepan trade rumors will be lingering until July 1st, 2017. After what Gorton is going through this offseason, I believe he’s sick of clauses that hamper his ability to improve the team.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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