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Rangers’ Stepan could start season on long-term IR

Washington Capitals v New York Rangers - Game Four

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 08: Derek Stepan #21 of the New York Rangers skates against the Washington Capitals in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2013 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 8, 2013 in New York City. The Rangers defeated the Capitals 4-3. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

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New York Rangers center Derek Stepan, who is expected to miss more than a month with a broken leg could start the season on long-term injured reserve according to head coach Alain Vigneault.

AV says postgame that he is leaning towards #NYR placing Derek Stepan on LTIR and keeping 14 forwards to start season..decision Monday

— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) October 5, 2014

Stepan, who originally suffered the injury while blocking a shot Sept. 9, is the team’s top center.

If he goes on long-term IR, Stepan would be required to miss 10 games.

In Stepan’s absence, Vigneault has been experimenting with Martin St. Louis at center.

All teams need to be down to the required 23-man roster by Tuesday, but the Rangers, like others, will likely get away with having more than 23 hanging around to start the season due to injuries.

Follow @dcmahiban