With the news that J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast have signed, the New York Rangers have brought back all restricted free agents but one.
By Steven Cifuentes
The New York Rangers announced the signing of two of their last three restricted free agents, J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast. They were signed this afternoon, making it now painfully obvious that only one Ranger remains unsigned.
This writer felt one of the keys to making sure Derek Stepan was retained was to sign all of the current restricted free agents to at or near their current qualifying offers.
Jeff Gorton was successful in doing just that. Emerson Etem and Oscar Lindberg came in at or below their offers earlier in the week and Milller and Fast fell in line today.
Fast came in at 2 years with a $950,000 cap hit while Miller came in at his direct qualifying offer of a $874,000 annual salary.
Gorton gets major props for how he has handled this current restricted free agent class. While the young players did not have a lot of leverage, they appear to understand the current cap situation this team is in and did not try to hold out for all they could get.
The Rangers have a little over 6.9 million in cap space left, via Spotrac.
At this critical juncture, Stepan has one of two options.
He can let his case go to arbitration and try to milk every dollar out of the system, or he can take a two year, $6.5 million dollar deal and realize he is part of something special and take another run at the Stanley Cup.
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