Richards Now? What it Should Cost.

May 23, 2011, by

Some people actually believe the Rangers don’t need Brad Richards – well, that’s almost as absurd as those few (and oh so rare) Rangers fans that believe the Rangers should trade Lundqvist, anyway I digress…Larry Brooks did indeed provide a good point this weekend; noting that the Rangers should proactively deal with the Stars for Mr Richards ahead of July 1st. The Rangers can avoid an auction/bidding war by getting Richards under lock and key before the free agent frenzy.

Richards is the perfect free agent for the Rangers. Ideally you don’t remedy your biggest needs in free agency because free agents are usually one of those three things; aging, not wanted (for whatever reason) by their most recent club or overly expensive – supply and demand. Richards ticks perhaps one of these boxes as he’s not the youngest. However this time it IS different. As Brooks points out; Richards’ relationship with Tortorella is a big reason for recruiting the skilled pivot. This isn’t recruiting your usual star with an ego it’s recruiting a player that is totally onboard with the coach and has a history with the coach – a successful one. Richards remedies so many of the Rangers current flaws in one signing. He’s a solid face off guy, he’s a playmaking elite center, adds a huge injection of skill, he improves the powerplay wherever you put him, he knows how to win and he should be able to get Gaborik back on track. It’s simply his age that may be an issue and depending on the length of deal he wants that also may not be an issue (another reason to get him in early and scope his demands out).

So now we’ve rehashed the point that Brad Richards is an elite player that the Rangers sorely need, what should the Rangers give up to get him early? First of all assume Glen Sather is working the phones. He knows what the Rangers need and we’ve already seen this off season already that he is in pro active mode (see: prospect signings a plenty). The Rangers boss is also a master at the art of the trade. Personally I don’t think Sather will want to move a draft pick in the top 2 rounds. Given the depth the Rangers have in their prospect pool Sather would be better off dealing from this depth and giving Dallas something more tangible for their biggest star. Sather (and the coaching staff) will know what prospects have a legitimate future with the Rangers but those that don’t, don’t necessarily have bleak NHL futures.

(Still) Ownerless Dallas surely must know they are losing Richards in July. Getting a package of a middle round pick and a prospect or two like Dale Weise and Chad Kolarik offers Dallas plenty to work with. With decent ice time Kolarik could become another Teddy Purcell type that is simply a late bloomer; Dale Weise could very well be a bottom six forward in the right NHL situation and a 5th round pick (for example) can just as well become an NHL producer as a higher rounded pick – as Dallas can attest to with Jamie Benn. Getting players back from the Rangers gives something more concrete for Joe Nieuwendyk to justify moving Richards. It also means it wasn’t all for nothing, holding onto him at the deadline. A move like this could be win-win for both teams, as much as is reasonably possible. While Philly gave Nashville a high pick for Hartnell and Timonen a few years back, it was not as blatant that the two were leaving Music City as it is Richards is leaving Dallas – the situations cannot really be compared. Brooks is right, Sather should make his move and we know what he should be willing to give up.



  1. Zen says:

    Not so sure a middle round pick and a garbage prospect is going to get Richards from Dallas, no matter whether he is definitely leaving or not. If anything, the presence of other suitors will push up the price tag. It also doesn’t matter how blatant you perceive BR leaving to be, just the fact that he has said that staying in Dallas is his first choice (even if not entirely true) is enough to make previous “acquire the rights” scenarios comparable.

    • Chris says:

      Who said they are garbage though? the players used were just examples but just because one player doesn’t fit in one franchise doesn’t mean he cant thrive in another. teddy Purcell being a great ex.

      Chad Kolarik has a lot of talent. Had a good career before hitting the NHL. Has he had a fair chance anywhere yet? Could he thrive? maybe.

      Philly also got two players for that high pick. This is different on many levels. An organisation without direction with an asset that is almost certain to leave. Its an organisation that could do with adding some low priced depth and talent. Weise is a decent enough player, he’s just not likely to make it in NY because of the abundance of lower line players.

      • John says:

        Again like both players you mentioned the Rangers could give away why would Dallas make the deal just because you in New York think they should sorry besides the Dallas Stars may be getting a new owner before then from everything I have been reading next time think before you speak

        • The Suit says:

          Yeah I don’t think we are getting a 90 point Richards. But I will be happy if we can get a guy who grabs around 50 assists every season. It’s something that is sorely needed on this squad and I don’t see Cally, Dubi, or Arty ever getting in that range.

  2. Mikeyyyy says:

    I worry about br because of his concussion. I hear trading for an elite center and I get visions of pat lafontaine crumpled in center ice.

    Don’t know why but I do.

    • Chris says:

      I totally appreciate why people would be weary of such an issue. It’s a massive hot topic in the league right now so many fans probably think ‘why do we want any of that’. Especially as we had Lindros post concussion…

      That said, this team needs an infusion of skill/talent and he’s by far the best available without stripping the club of assets other than $$$. With the right kind of contract he has to be worth the risk, if this club is going to become a contender. The foundation is there. The playoffs showed it needs help.

    • Brian SCS says:

      You should be concerned about his concussion, they’re unpredictable and subsequent concussions compound each other. Whats’ the most efficacious treatment of concussions? Rest and prevention of repeated concussion. Yep, It’s that simple. Not exactly what you want to hear when your star player is in the middle of a playoff hunt.

      That’s why Pittsburgh sat Crosby for the season, not just because of current symptoms but if he was to suffer a second concussion in short order, even at a fraction of the amplitude of the original one, he’d be in real trouble.

  3. Section 121 says:

    Richards hasn’t even been able to get his team (talented team) into the playoffs for the past three years.

    I’m not so convinced that he’s the elite playmaker the Rangers need to make all the difference and fix all their problems.

    • Chris says:

      I think that’s a bit unfair. The West is much deeper than the East and each yr Dallas have had to deal with injuries (like those to key players like Morrow) and the ownership issues are a strain. Dallas had 95(!) points this year and finished 9th…

      they were 4 points off 4th in the tougher conference and have to play with Sharks, Ducks and Kings, not to mention the Coyotes. Given their division they have been pretty damn competitive the last 2 years given their issues. They had those 95 points and were the only team in division not to make playoffs. Top 4 either had 100+ or were within 2 points of a 100 pt season. That’s crazy.

  4. Brian SCS says:

    First off, it’s not that absurd to have doubts about signing Richards. Considering what it would cost to sign him and the Rangers recent history with marquee free agents there are plenty of reasons why some fans have concerns. Richards asking price, potential fluctuations in the salary cap due to the CBA, and prior concussion history are all legitimate concerns and it would be foolish to ignore them.

    Now, that being said I do think the Rangers should go for him if they can keep the term to 5 years or less. I’m well aware what Richards brings to the table and that players of his calibre aren’t available often, but Slats needs to be cautious and play it smart.

    Give Dallas our 4th round pick, Chad Kolarik, Tomas Kundratek, and tell them you’ll buy out Sean Avery, but I wouldn’t go far beyond that.

    • Chris says:

      the choice of absurd was a word to generate discussion! lol but I do think his talent level is beyond discussion.

      • scrangerfan says:

        O.K.Chris,I agree that BR’s talent level is beyond discussion but his health should very much be the center of discussion.I can not think of one player who had returned from a concussion and played as good as he did before the injury.Additionally,other then Messier I can not remember any other player who lived up to expectations plying for the Rangers.Maybe Yagr for a first two years.Even the block buster trade for Esposito did not work out,he was never the player in he was with Boston. another player comes to mind is Berry Beck,He also played better in Colorado then in NY.Ido agree that we need a talent like Richard but I’d be very carefull as to how much and how long he should be signed.He could be another Erik Lindross and we certainly don’t need that with the cap such is it is.

  5. Brian SCS says:

    Okay Chris, fair enough. And yes, I won’t debate Richards talent or potential impact to the Rangers offense, because he truly looks like an ideal fit. But, it is up to Slats to do his due diligence here and only sign him if the contract is reasonable.

    • Chris says:

      on that we agree. I’ll be disappointed if he gets an obscene contract, I do want him as a Ranger though. Will be interesting to see play out.

      • Brian SCS says:

        I want him to be a Ranger as well, but I don’t think Slats signs him if the contract terms get close to a Hossa, Luongo, Campbell contract etc. I’m thinking Gaborik contract and hope Slats says take it or leave it.

        • Chris says:

          I think that’s the ball park contract too. Maybe half a mill more if $$ is important, maybe a little less if winning (again) is his priority. Hopefully the latter.

  6. Fotiu is God says:

    Let’s hope Slats lines up with yours–our–basic preconditions: that any Brad Richards contract isn’t Hossa-level obscene, nor too lengthy. Four to five years and out.

    As for a preemptive–pre UFA–trade, word has both The Leafs’ Brian Burke and The Kings’ Dean Lombardi as all-in players here.

    For sake of comparison, The Kings are the Western Conference analog to the Rangers: an intriguing, overachieving group perhaps one elite centerman away from a deep run.

    Lombardi, though, isn’t dealing from the depth we are. The Kings are deep on the backend; it was Colton Teubert, one of their top D-men prospects who went to The Oilers for Dustin Penner at the deadline.

    If anyone outmaneuvers Slats before 1 July expect it to be Brian Burke. Besides being far less gunshy than Lombardi, Burke is a more motivated buyer.

    If we’re dangling a package of mid-range prospects Burke will likely up the ante with one of his top-six forwards and prospects.

    Realistically, Chris, it’s going to have to be say Grachev, perhaps EC, or Kolarik and Gilroy, plus a pick north of the fourth round.

    • Mikeyyyy says:

      To talk to him?

      That’s what we are talking about.

      Exclusive rights should not cost a team that.

      • Chris says:

        I agree with Mikeyyyy here. It won’t cost that much, atleast it shouldn’t, just to talk to him prior to July. There may be conditional picks involved based on him signing (or not) but substantial pieces won’t be involved.

  7. jerry says:

    with buyouts of drury,wolskiand avery leaves about 3 mill in cap space.pick apart as you wish.
    i wouldnt mind trying this line up.
    Simon Gagne ($3.000m) / Brad Richards ($7.500m) / Marian Gaborik ($7.500m)
    Brandon Dubinsky ($3.000m) / Artem Anisimov ($1.500m) / Ryan Callahan ($3.300m)
    Carl Hagelin ($0.662m) / Derek Stepan ($0.875m) / Mats Zuccarello-Aasen ($1.750m)
    Ruslan Fedotenko ($1.000m) / Brian Boyle ($1.500m) / Brandon Prust ($0.800m)

    Marc Staal ($3.975m) / Daniel Girardi ($3.325m)
    Ryan McDonagh ($1.300m) / Christian Ehrhoff ($5.000m)
    Mike Sauer ($1.500m) / Michael Del Zotto ($1.087m)

    Henrik Lundqvist ($6.875m) / Martin Biron ($0.875m)

    CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
    (these totals are compiled without the bonus cushion)
    SALARY CAP: $63,400,000; CAP PAYROLL: $56,325,000; BONUSES: $1,487,500
    CAP SPACE (20-man roster): $7,075,000

  8. The Suit says:

    Richards simply isn’t going to get the money here he could get elsewhere. If he ends up a Ranger it will be because he wants to play in NYC and he wants to play with Torts and Avery. He could win elsewhere and he could make more money elsewhere. He just has to decide himself how much of a cut he’s willing to take.

    Glen won’t offer him the moon and I’m cool with that. But if we can get him for under seven million per for five years max, you do it. If you can’t, look for a trade.

    • Matt J says:

      Wants to play with Avery. lol. I think most players don’t want to play with him or against him. Good point though on Richards. He knows he can get more money elsewhere it’s just a personal decision he’ll have to make. Toronto although on the points sheet it isn’t too far, is a big step down from the Rangers. They don’t have the goaltending to compete with these better teams. At this point in his career though what more does he want to accomplish? Another cup? Another conn smythe? A cup to the Rangers is way more important than him and hopefully he understands that going in.

      • the suit says:

        Richards and Avery are boys off the ice. Whether that plays a role recruiting-wise no one knows.

  9. Section 121 says:

    As far as Richards fixing our needs and making the Rangers an instant contender which is what everyone is claiming, I just don’t see it.

    He has played on a very solid and talented team in Dallas without making the playoffs for 3 years in a row. Sure the West is a tougher conference right now, but if you’re the “savior” everybody’s making you out to be and you’re on a solid team, you’re in the mix every year even in a tough conference.

    Let’s not forget the great supporting cast BR had in Tampa for that Cup. Not to mention Khabibulin was ridiculous in the playoffs with a line of 16-7, 1.71 GAA, 9.33 SV%, and 5 shutouts. That looks like Conn Smythe numbers to me.

    I just don’t see Richards as the fix all guy he’s being made out to be.

    • jerry says:

      i dont see him as a fix all but hes a more talented upgrade than anyone we have right now with stepan still learning.i guess you would rather have christensen on the first line dissappearing game after game.

      • Section 121 says:

        No way



        • Section 121 says:

          Dubi frees up room for Step and Gabby to operate, Cally frees up room for Wolski and AA to operate, Avery and MZA can cause havoc while Dru is defensively sound and can add offense when healthy, and we all know Feds, Boyle, Prust are reliable.

          2013 (pts)

          • jerry says:

            grachev, even though i was high on him is going to be a bust.i hoped not but thats my feeling.

  10. Section 121 says:

    Richards does not have those Messier-like qualities and will not make the Rangers an instant contender upon his arrival.

  11. ranger17 says:

    Why not give that package to Colo for Stasny Younger and is signed for 3 more yrs already