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Rangers, C Stepan agree to 6-year deal

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)

NEW YORK (AP) The New York Rangers and center Derek Stepan avoided salary arbitration, agreeing on a six-year contract.

General manager Jeff Gorton announced the deal Monday, hours before a contract arbitration hearing for the 25-year-old Stepan was to be held in Toronto.

Stepan said the two sides have been close to agreement in recent days, but there was no guarantee that it would get done before the arbitration. He said there was "no bad blood" during the talks.

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1t M. Pacioretty, Mon38
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4 O. Palat, TB31
5 J. Toews, Chi30
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7t J. Garrison, TB27
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9t D. Stepan, NYR26
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6t J. Quick, LA36
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