New York Rangers Sign Derek Stepan To Two-year Contract

Scott Lev/NHLI via Getty Images NEW YORK (AP) — Derek Stepan is back in the fold with the New York Rangers, agreeing to a two-year contract that should have him back on the ice in time for the season opener. Negotiations had been tense in recent days as the sides worked on a deal to get the restricted free-agent forward signed and into training camp. A contract was finally worked out Thursday, one week before the Rangers start the regular season at Phoenix. The 23-year-old Stepan, expected to be the Rangers’ No. 1 center, led the team with 44 points last season and was second to Rick Nash with 18 goals while playing all 48 games of the lockout-shortened campaign. He had been seeking $3.5 million per season, while the Rangers were offering around $3 million. The new deal is for a total of $6.15 million – $2.3 million this season and $3.85 million in 2014-15. Signing Stepan was a critical move for the Rangers, who are starting the season under new coach Alain Vigneault without captain Ryan Callahan and speedy winger Carl Hagelin – both recovering from shoulder operations. Stepan set career highs last season with a plus-25 rating and six game-winning goals. He tied his high with four power-play goals. Stepan went over the 40-point mark for the third straight season, tying for the NHL lead with four short-handed points.

3 Players New York Mets Can Sign After Contracts of Santana, Bay Expire

His largesse often benefited the city. During his first term, he reached into his own pocket to help make up a city budget shortfall, and has since helped fund various city projects. Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a group he co-founded in 2006, is largely funded with Bloomberg money. But Bloomberg’s wealth has also helped open a rift with advocates for those on lower incomes. Earlier this month, Bloomberg said the city’s income gap could be explained by the number of billionaires in the city and said it would be a “godsend” if more billionaires came to town. “They are the ones that pay a lot of the taxes. They’re the ones that spend a lot of money in the stores and restaurants, and create a big chunk of our economy,” he said on a radio show. Even Bloomberg’s fiercest critics acknowledge his sound fiscal management of New York. Bloomberg’s decision to set aside a rainy day fund even when the city was still running a strong surplus was widely seen as buffering city agencies from more severe cuts once the recession hit in 2009. LOOKING AHEAD While Wall Street executives and industry leaders lament the end of the Bloomberg era, voters in the city of eight million people appear eager for change. A Marist poll from July found that fewer than one in five New Yorkers see the city as affordable for the average family. The average price of a Manhattan apartment is $1.425 million, according to The New York Times, while the cost of renting a New York apartment – excluding Staten Island – is more than $3,017 a month, up from $2,088 per unit in 2002, according to REIS, a real estate research firm.

FEATURE-Wall Street wistful about New York life without Mayor Bloomberg

The bloated contracts of Johan Santana and Jason Bay are finally coming off the books at the end of this season, so general manager Sandy Alderson has no excuse not to spend money. Mets fans demand it and it’s time to turn the Mets into winners again. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three players who New York can sign this coming offseason now that the contracts of Santana and Bay are about to expire. Robinson Cano would sure look good in a Mets uniform Patrick Smith/Getty Images The Mets should ink Robinson Cano to a five-year, $125 million pact this winter. Ah, yes. What a free agent splash that would be for the Mets. The New York Yankees star second baseman is in his prime and would instantly make the Mets a legitimate contender for the National League East crown. The five-time All-Star has a .309 career batting average and has driven in over 100 runs in three of his last four seasons. Not only that, but the Dominican Republic native is also a two-time Gold Glove winner as well. He is simply the best second baseman in baseball. The Mets could move current second baseman Daniel Murphy to first base, say goodbye to Ike Davis and bat Cano third in manager Terry Collins’ lineup. David Wright could easily slip into the cleanup spot and give New York a very formidable 2-3-4 trio. If the Mets are serious about winning again, they should sign Cano away from the Yankees and become a team to be reckoned with again.