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FlightZone: Six Years for Derek Stepan

A healthy raise and solid deal for both sides.

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In case you missed it, the New York Rangers have re-signed center Derek Stepan for six years and $6.5 million per. I would just like to shoutout Blueshirt Banter editor @AdamHerman_BSB, who throughout this entire ordeal has been an invaluable follow:

And now the news.

Central Division

Chicago has hired retired forward Jamal Mayers as a Community Liaison, one whose job it will be "to help build more awareness and enthusiasm for the sport of hockey". Given how wretched the Blackhawks have been the past few years, he's been dealt a tough hand. (NBCChicago)

Our Colorado frenemies are still "totally convinced" of playoffs, but at least they're acknowledging that playing in the Central will be about as pleasant as walking on hot coals. Baby steps, people; we'll bring them to reality yet. (Mile High Sticking)

As much as I would love to see Daniel Briere hit 1000 regular season NHL games, it's looking and sounding like this might be the end of his playing career. (ESPN)

When asked about wearing a knee brace to begin 2015-16, ESPN Body Issue veteran Tyler Seguin said, "I want to go free". Believe me Tyler, we already noticed. (Dallas Morning News)

There's no shortage of candidates in Dallas to replace Trevor Daley as alternate captain, including new additions Patrick Sharp and Johnny Oduya. No word yet on if Ryan Garbutt is a candidate to wear Sharpie's A in Chicago. (The Hockey Writers)

In a similar situation as Danny Briere, UFA Jordan Leopold is looking for an NHL destination but sounds at peace with the possibility that this is journey's end for him. (NHL)

Yesterday, I briefly mentioned something about Colin Wilson making $4 million per. His new four-year deal comes with an AAV of $3,937,500. Nailed it. (On The Forecheck)

Kyle Brodziak's home in Edina, Minnesota is on the market for $1,050,000, and it's very bright. (Realtor)

Here's a Puck Daddy blog ranking of the NHL's top 25 goalies in 2015-16. Ondrej Pavelec and Mike Smith both get an honourable mention, which I think translates to "participation medal". (Yahoo! Sports)

And All The Rest

Cody Franson is now out of necessity being compared to Zybnek Michalek ($3.2 mil, two years), Francois Beauchemin ($4.5 mil, three years) and Paul Martin ($4.85 mil, four years). The mighty have indeed fallen, but someone's going to get themselves an absolute bargain here. (Yahoo! Sports)

Buffalo GM Tim Murray's moves have made captain Brian Gionta excited for the future, though I assume he's not going to ride shotgun with Ryan O'Reilly any time soon. (USA Today)

Speaking of Buffalo, there was apparently a nice little bit of executive intrigue to go along with Team President Ted Black's departure. (Buffalo News)

Wings prospect Mitch Callahan might not want to go back to the AHL next season, but with Detroit's logjam at forward the likelihood of him hitting the waiver wire is high. Paging all 29 other NHL teams. (MLive)

Our Ranger friends are pleased with not only the Derek Stepan contract, but the job that new GM Jeff Gorton has done so far. (Blueshirt Banter)

With both Stepan and Colin Wilson off the docket, we're left with only four arbitration cases to go. Thankfully, by time they're dried up it'll be playoff predictions season, which I'm sure you're all looking forward to. (ProHockeyTalk)

Goalie POVs are always fun, with the latest being from Flyers' prospect Anthony Stolarz. Enjoy what I assume to be public domain rock tracks blasting as the video's background music. (Broad Street Buzz)

And finally, Nik Antropov is reportedly mulling over an NHL return. Instead of pondering him for the Jets' 4th line center role, can we drag Kyle Wellwood out of retirement instead? (ProHockeyTalk)

Thanks for reading! Be sure to say in the Comments section below who you think should replace Trevor Daley as assistant captain in Dallas. Or talk about the Derek Stepan extension, either or.