The challenge of RFA negotiations 

September, 16, 2013

Derek StepanPatrick McDermott/NHLI/Getty ImagesDerek Stepan has quickly become a force for the Rangers, but can they afford a long-term deal?
A couple years ago, a GM was asked about the contract status of one of his restricted free agents in early summer. You know how it goes, he answered, these things don't get done until training camp is close.

A deadline, in this case, is a powerful thing. And we saw that power firsthand last week as deals for players like Nazem Kadri, Cody Hodgson, Jared Cowen and Alex Pietrangelo all got completed, which prevented having those players miss significant time at the start of training camp.