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Rangers buy out Brad Richards...


Polaris922
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You know, Brad Richards' production numbers may not have lived up to his lofty contract (really, what player's ridiculous contract ever really does?), and yes, I do agree his skillset is NOT what it once was, but honestly, looking at the big picture, if Richards can swallow his pride just a bit, be ok with making an acceptable annual salary (he is set financially with the buy out and whatever else a team will pay him going forward after all), and be willing to play more of a supporting role instead of a starring one on a team, he could STILL be quite helpful to a contender...particularly a young contending team.

 

His overall numbers for the past season aren't terrible by any stretch, but of course, his contract demanded he do much more. And he didn't help his own cause by not performing at crunch time in the Finals.

Then, you simply have the numbers game where NY needed to keep certain young players and fill in needs elsewhere, and one can easily see where Richards' hefty and long contract was an albatross.

 

Still though, as long as Brad has the desire to play, play well, and is willing to be part of the picture rather than the whole picture, I believe whomever signs Richards next (reasonable contract) will be very happy with him.

That said, like some other players we could mention, the FIT has to be right.

 

Richards would have to go somewhere where it isn't a total rebuild going one...somewhere where a team may need a solid #2, but more likely, an excellent #3 type puck distributing center to get them 'over the hump'.

Also, a team that could actually USE a center, and not just sign  him as one, only to have him play wing, or displace another natural center to play wing....Philly fans know this all too well already.

 

The guy is only 34 and while that means that as long as he has desire he will find employment in the NHL, it also means his days of long contracts are done.

Two, three years MAX is what I believe he will get from anyone going forward.

It has been often said about Richards that he is a businessman himself, so, if that is true, he would understand that.

 

Seems to me, the bottom line here was, the Rangers NEEDED to do this in order to stay competitive starting next season, and Brad Richards himself gave the team no reason to even consider keeping him on any longer with his numbers vs his contract.

That said, Rick Nash has not really been much better, but I suppose Nash's flashes of brilliance and downright dominance (when, it seems, he feels like it), and the fact Nash is younger than Richards, will keep the team hanging on to him in hopes that he finally puts it all together for them and leads the teams in all phases of the game.

 

NY, of course, may come to regret that at some point, but for the here and now, Nash looked more the keeper than Richards to the Rangers.

 

Wishing Brad Richards good luck in finding a suitable landing spot.

Hopefully, he is smart in any offers he accepts and not just looks a the $$$.

Again, he is being paid by the Rangers to NOT be there, so really, any lower rung salary he gets combined with that, should be enough for him and his family to live their lives as they always have.

All comes down to being at the right place, at the right time, then doing all the work necessary in the off season himself to be sure he is ready to go come the 2014-15 season.

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And he didn't help his own cause by not performing at crunch time in the Finals.

 

I would have bought out Nash instead of Richards. While Richards is overpaid for what he currently brings, Nash is a no show. 

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You know, Brad Richards' production numbers may not have lived up to his lofty contract (really, what player's ridiculous contract ever really does?), and yes, I do agree his skillset is NOT what it once was, but honestly, looking at the big picture, if Richards can swallow his pride just a bit, be ok with making an acceptable annual salary (he is set financially with the buy out and whatever else a team will pay him going forward after all), and be willing to play more of a supporting role instead of a starring one on a team, he could STILL be quite helpful to a contender...particularly a young contending team.

 

His overall numbers for the past season aren't terrible by any stretch, but of course, his contract demanded he do much more. And he didn't help his own cause by not performing at crunch time in the Finals.

Then, you simply have the numbers game where NY needed to keep certain young players and fill in needs elsewhere, and one can easily see where Richards' hefty and long contract was an albatross.

 

Still though, as long as Brad has the desire to play, play well, and is willing to be part of the picture rather than the whole picture, I believe whomever signs Richards next (reasonable contract) will be very happy with him.

That said, like some other players we could mention, the FIT has to be right.

 

Richards would have to go somewhere where it isn't a total rebuild going one...somewhere where a team may need a solid #2, but more likely, an excellent #3 type puck distributing center to get them 'over the hump'.

Also, a team that could actually USE a center, and not just sign  him as one, only to have him play wing, or displace another natural center to play wing....Philly fans know this all too well already.

 

The guy is only 34 and while that means that as long as he has desire he will find employment in the NHL, it also means his days of long contracts are done.

Two, three years MAX is what I believe he will get from anyone going forward.

It has been often said about Richards that he is a businessman himself, so, if that is true, he would understand that.

 

Seems to me, the bottom line here was, the Rangers NEEDED to do this in order to stay competitive starting next season, and Brad Richards himself gave the team no reason to even consider keeping him on any longer with his numbers vs his contract.

That said, Rick Nash has not really been much better, but I suppose Nash's flashes of brilliance and downright dominance (when, it seems, he feels like it), and the fact Nash is younger than Richards, will keep the team hanging on to him in hopes that he finally puts it all together for them and leads the teams in all phases of the game.

 

NY, of course, may come to regret that at some point, but for the here and now, Nash looked more the keeper than Richards to the Rangers.

 

Wishing Brad Richards good luck in finding a suitable landing spot.

Hopefully, he is smart in any offers he accepts and not just looks a the $$$.

Again, he is being paid by the Rangers to NOT be there, so really, any lower rung salary he gets combined with that, should be enough for him and his family to live their lives as they always have.

All comes down to being at the right place, at the right time, then doing all the work necessary in the off season himself to be sure he is ready to go come the 2014-15 season.

Its not always that bad :P. The Sharks have 9 centers lol. Pavelski is a natural center, but just had a career year on left wing(Also spent a bit of time as 3rd line center). Marleau is a natural center but using his speed on the wings actually has been better than when he was at center. Hertl is a natural center, and he had one heck of a rookie season before the injury. Wingels is a natural center, but played damn well as the 2nd/3rd line RW(Split time).

 

I agree Richards should stay at center, but its not always bad to have versatile forwards :)

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Its not always that bad :P. The Sharks have 9 centers lol. Pavelski is a natural center, but just had a career year on left wing(Also spent a bit of time as 3rd line center). Marleau is a natural center but using his speed on the wings actually has been better than when he was at center. Hertl is a natural center, and he had one heck of a rookie season before the injury. Wingels is a natural center, but played damn well as the 2nd/3rd line RW(Split time).

 

I agree Richards should stay at center, but its not always bad to have versatile forwards :)

 

Oh very much agreed here.

And truthfully, I suspect there are MANY natural centers in the minors who get converted over to wing positions for various reasons, only to play some center anyways when and if they make the NHL level.

 

I guess what I was driving at was, don't sign a guy like Brad Richards, only to have some long time center on the team signing him, have to move over simply because "Brad Richards is here now". Then you have a situation where guys are playing disgruntled, harboring animosity towards the coaching staff or the new player coming in, etc..

 

In the case of your Sharks, I suspect most of those guys were eased into their roles. You would know more than I on that, but it wasn't like someone played many games at C for the Sharks was suddently told, "Hey, you're a winger now because we got this other guy, and well, we want him to play center instead of you".

 

Obviously, if a situation arose where a player had to move to wing because of a Richards signing, I would think the team signing him would look at the overall picture and see if it made sense, or even go over things with the coach and players in question to see if the player being moved was fully on board with that.

Not necessary for the coaches or GM's to do such a thing (clear things with a player), I get that...but still, could go a long way towards getting a player fully co-operating since the courtesy and respect was shown to him by clueing the guy in on the plan.

 

In the case of Richards himself, I also agree, even with his diminished skills, he still makes a better center than wing himself because, even though some of his scoring touch has faded, his speed isn't quite what it used to be, he STILL finds his wingers, has an eye for what is going on the ice, and hence still puts up decent assists because of that.

No better place to take advantage of that particular skillset than at the C position, IMO.

 

Now, whether he is 2nd or 3rd line will depend on the make up of the team, the coach, and what chemistry he can develop with wingers, but Richards should probably ALWAYS be a center.

Edited by TropicalFruitGirl26
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  Just a suggestion, but Brad Richards might make a nice replacement for Handzus on the Hawks. They have been looking for depth at center, switched around a lot of players trying to find a 3rd line center....Richards would be a perfect fit. He's defensively responsible, would make the 2nd pp unit a bit more dangerous, and he would have multiple chances to win the Cup with the Hawks. I don't think he will demand crazy money, cause he is set with the buy out....it should be all about winning it all for Brad, once more at least before he retires.

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@flyercanuck

That thought scares a lot of Flyers fans I'm sure!

@brelic

I really don't know. The guy wasn't terrible just terribly overpaid. But the Pens have enough numbers to deal with already, and I'm not sure Richards is an upgrade over Sutter anymore.

@hf101

Makes you wonder if they'd spent his cap hit more wisely it could've mattered against the Kings. Or the opposite... Would they have gotten as far without him?

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