The New York Rangers and restricted free agent Derek Stepan still remain at an impasse in negotiating a new contract agreement. Manager Glen Sather is unhappy about this and voiced his opinion on the situation in a televised interview where he questioned Stepan's decisions to this point.
Sather commented that he hoped Stepan would be wiser about his choices and criticized the player's agent, via ESPN New York:
"It's unfortunate that Derek has decided to listen to his agent," Sather said.
Though Stepan has now missed almost two weeks of camp, Sather did sound hopeful that the impasse wouldn't drag on much longer.
"I don't think Derek is gonna let this thing linger too long," Sather said. "I don't think he's big enough of a fool [to sit out a year]."
The two sides are believed to be negotiating on a two-year bridge contract, but remain separated on the financial terms of such an agreement. It's previously been written that the Rangers are believed to have offered Stepan a two-year deal worth somewhere between $2.5 million and $2.7 million per season.
Stepan's agent, Matt Oates, previously stated that discussions between the two sides have been amicable, via the New York Post:
"We're talking. There's dialogue. There's no animosity," Oates said. "Derek isn't asking for anything he hasn't earned. He just wants a fair deal and is willing to talk about a short-term contract if that's what it takes."
Whether he still feels that way after Sather's comments on Monday night remains to be seen.