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

 width=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.

Stepan said the contract was six years in length, adding there was a no-trade clause for the third and fourth years of the deal.

There were several reports it was worth $39 million.

A restricted free agent, Stepan had 16 goals and 39 assists in 68 games as the Rangers posted the NHL's best regular-season record. He also had five goals and seven assists in 19 postseason games, tallying the game-winning goal in overtime in Game 7 against Washington in the Eastern Conference semifinal.

Stepan was one of two NHL players who ranked tied for fifth or higher on his respective team in all of the following categories in 2014-15: assists, points, game-winning goals, plus/minus rating, shots on goal, power play goals, power play assists, power play points, short-handed goals, short-handed assists, and short-handed points.

The other was Jonathan Toews of the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.

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