Another one bites the dust. New York Rangers center Derek Stepan was injured during a conditioning test Tuesday and had to be helped off the ice. The team says
Stepan suffered a fractured fibula and that there is no timetable for his return. Without Stepan, the Rangers lose a player who scored 57 points for them last season - second most on the team.
Stepan is entering the last year of his bridge contract that pays him $3.075 million against the cap. He'll be 25 when his next contract kicks in and should be in line for a nice pay raise. Tuesday night, the Carolina Hurricanes also lost a center to a broken leg when
Jordan Staal was felled by a Josh Gorges hit. Neither the Hurricanes nor the Rangers are terribly deep at center and the loss of these payers will have a significant impact on the fortunes of their teams this season. Of course, the Rangers are still in a better spot than the Hurricanes. We pegged New York
to finish third in the Metro Division - losing Stepan for a significant amount of time may put them on the playoff bubble.
UPDATE: The Rangers say Stepan will miss four-to-six weeks with a "non displaced fractured fibula." Worst-case scenario avoided.
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