Rangers Get Their Man: Sign Brad Richards

July 2, 2011, by

General Manager Glen Sather landed his Plan A, signing center Brad Richards. The signing is exactly what the Rangers need; an elite play making center to help jump start Marian Gaborik. The Rangers now have two elite talents on their top line, giving them the primary scoring they so desperately needed to compliment the loads of secondary and tertiary scoring the team already has. There is no denying the talent that Richards brings to the Rangers.

Richards averages a little less than a point per game over his career, roughly 70 points per season. Over the life of the contract, I’d expect Richards to be above that average for a few seasons, at the average for a few seasons, and below the average for a few seasons. That’s why they call it an average. What we can expect is improved scoring and a drastically improved powerplay with Richards on board.

The contract is a little outrageous, a nine year deal worth $58.5 million ($6.5 million cap hit). While the term is a bit longer than most liked, no one can really argue with the dollar figure. Landing Richards at $6.5 million per year is a steal, even if it is for nine years. Nine years was the limit before that “over 40” clause kicked in, so this deal works out for both sides. It is expected that this deal is incredibly front loaded for Richards to protect against potential roll-backs.

The biggest concern with Richards, aside from the contract, is his one concussion from last season. My view on this has been very well documented: Brad Richards simply does not have a concussion problem, and is not injury prone. Yes, he had a concussion last season. Yes, it can be a cause for concern. But he has only had one concussion his entire career, that does not make him an injury concern. Richards averages over 70 games played per year. I’ll take that any day.

The Rangers landed their man. It’s a good thing too, because I’m pretty sure we were all worried about what Plan B was.

Update: It appears the contract details were a little off. It’s $60 million over nine years, making it an average of $6.7 million per year.

Categories : Signings


  1. Matt says:

    9 years is a little long, but the aav isn’t terrible…B+!

    • Dave says:

      I’d guess that almost all of the money is in the first 5 years of the deal, there’s no way he plays until he’s 40.

      • The Suit says:

        Remember when I told ya he’d come to New York for under $7 million per? Now is the time where everyone tells me how awesome I am…

        Just kidding, you don’t need to tell me anything. I already know it.

  2. Matt J says:

    Where can I order my jersey?

  3. Jude says:

    Dave i was cup you yesterday, seems like almost everything we talked about making this team a contender happened. I said yesterday 6 yrs was iffy but ill take nine at a 5 mil cap hit fine with me. Exciting time to be a blueshirts fan.

  4. Jude says:

    wait i thought it was 45 mil not 58 but i guess we got our guy

  5. Jim says:

    Sather did it again. I pray he came here to play and is still hungry. Lets hope this one is worth it, and we don’t have to trade, buy out, send down, him in 3 years. ie. Gomez, Redden, Drury, et al…

    • Dave says:

      You can’t compare this signing to Redden/Drury because they were never supposed to be the top line guys. Gomez I’ll give you, but he was always better suited as a 2nd line guy.

      • HARLEMBLUES says:

        Dave a bad signing is a bad signing.

        • Dave says:

          Comparing one signing to another is bad judgment. The Rangers needed Richards, and while the 9 years is a bit much, this is exactly what the Rangers needed.

          • HARLEMBLUES says:

            Bad judgement is thinking we haven’t been down this road b4 of overpaying for an over 30 past his prime player.

            • Dave says:

              So since a few failed, you’re saying avoid any free agent over 30?

              • HARLEMBLUES says:

                No,it has 2b the right fit at the right time.If we were a #1 center away from the cup yes. We r not there just yet.Two-three years when Hagelin,Thomas,Kreider and McIlrath R ready to support Cally,Dubi and Staal then we add the FA as needed you WIN the you don’t chase it.

              • Dave says:

                But it doesn’t always work in that order. Sometimes you have to project ahead to what you expect from your prospects, and then sign a guy to fill a hole that may not be as visible now as it is 2-3 years from now.

  6. HARLEMBLUES says:

    This deal is OUTRAGEOUS,it will b a drag on the Rangers down the road. We’ve given BR 4yrs of free money. We better get close 2 the cup.The deal is 2 long wouldn’t done it.These long deals only work n basketball. Yes he does have a concussion problem. When you have a bad knee it sometimes can b fixed but when you have a bad head aka concussed one the next hit can bring back memories or lack of.

    • kevin says:

      getting one concussion doesnt give someone a concussion problem

      • scrangersfan says:

        You think so kevin? name one player in the history OF HOCKEY who came back and recovered 100% from a concussion. I know I can’t,then again I have only been watching hockey for 47 years.

        END RESULT, BAD SIGNING BY THE RANGERS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • rob says:

          really is this guy serious? Every time a guy gets a concussion he “forgets” how to play hockey? Eric Lindros forgot how to play hockey after his 1st concussion? No, it takes multiple concussions to knock a player off of his game and richards has had 1. I’ll bet you crosby scores 40 goals this year.

        • Dave says:

          It’s been one concussion, back away from the ledge.

        • rangerfan says:

          patrice bergeron

      • HARLEMBLUES says:

        Kevin you don’t fix someones head it’s not a knee or elbow.Once ur concussed it’s done any hit big or small leads 2 the next concussion and so on and on.Time becomes ur friend,Sid set out the rest of the year.When he comes BAM it still can b over.

    • SCRANGERSFAN says:

      Amen HARLEMBLUES, I’m with you all the way on this.

      • The Suit says:

        So you guys wouldn’t resign Sidney Crosby if you were the Pittsburgh Penguins? Give me a break.

        • HARLEMBLUES says:

          BR isn’t on Sids level come on.The difference n age 7yrs is almost the length of BR contract so yes i would sign Sid after 9yrs he’s what 33 not 40.That level of skill comes along few and far between it’s HOF. 9yrs is 2long 4 BR.

          • The Suit says:

            But he’s had a concussion, his brain no longer works, according to you all

  7. Matt says:

    line pairings?

  8. Jude says:

    wolski/zuc br gabby
    dubi aa cally
    feds stephan avery
    prust rupp boyle

  9. paulronty says:

    Here are my lines: Feds/Hagelin-Richards-Gaborik

    • wwpd says:

      I like these lines as far as what we know today, I think there’s gonna be a lot of turnover on the other 1st line wing. Id expect to see a lot of guys get a shot at that position – especially certain “centers” we all love but can’t win a draw to save their lives – and almost certainly a bunch of times where Feds will fill in that spot as a utility guy.

  10. The Suit says:

    9 years is 3 years longer than I would have wanted, but thanks to Calgary we had to do what we had to do.

    Hopefully Richards at 38 looks better than Nylander at 38.

    • Dave says:

      This contract is likely to be so front loaded that it makes no sense for him to continue playing after age 37.


  11. JT says:

    I agree that, while longer than any of us like, the cap hit of this contract couldn’t be much better. I want the season to start tomorrow. Very exciting time to be a Ranger fan. Depth, skill, a good balance of experience and youth. Can’t wait to see this team in action…

  12. wwpd says:

    got a little more than the 8 years $50mm he was looking for, so good for him.

    Good for the rangers? Brad’s been basically a 20-25 goal guy his entire NHL career averaging about 70 points per and he’s the leading scorer in Dallas the past couple of years. Reminds me of another 20-25 goal guy and a 70 point guy the rangers signed to big numbers oh about 4 years ago, who both put up numbers well within their normal range for each the first 2 years in nyc and still got dumped on by the fans like they were arch criminals.

    Brad richards comes with a bit lower cap hit for a little longer term and by all accounts is a character guy who is durable and brings it to the rink every day. So I like this signing and if he can put up steady numbers for the next 3-4 years even we should all be happy with it. Of course if the next CBA looks anything like this one we may be groaning for a decade at the cap hit if he has to be bought out in his mid-30s! but such is life in the modern NHL.

    The question I have, if you guys have opinion, is how good do you feel that he’s a fit with Gaborik? If they work, that’s clearly your top line and it elevates both their games. If not … well, maybe let’s not go there just yet 🙂 Watching Gabby in prior years I would have thought he can play with anyone, just get the puck to him for a shot and watch for the goal light to come on. Lately I’m not so sure.

    • Dave says:

      He was signed to play with Gaborik. It’s safe to assume that they will click together, and the Rangers will have a very dangerous top line.

  13. George says:

    For anybody who hates this contract… does it matter at all that with all the obvious interest shown in trying to woo Richards the past 2 days this contract proves to be quite moveable if it does not work out the way we hoped? Calgary was ready to give him even more cash. We got the reasonable price, the length is questionable, but that’s him Richards using leverage. Good job keeping the cap hit relatively low Slats.

  14. Brian SCS says:

    We Got him! Broadway Brad.

    Yes, 9 years is too long and I would’ve much preferred 6-7 but the cap is the key. $6.5 mil per year for a player with Richards track record when 5 teams heavily pursuing him is a great deal.

    And to those who are panning this deal – remember, we gave up no assets and acquired one of the best playmaking centers in the game in his prime. Well done Slats.

    • HARLEMBLUES says:

      Money is a asset thats what my accountant tells me and so is that cap space n years 6,7,8,9.

  15. Mikeyyyy says:

    Taking bets on how long it will take torts to say we need to find Chemistry and splits up gabby and Richards.

    • wwpd says:

      end of October.

      Dave says you can just assume they will work together though, so his answer is however long it takes one of them to retire 🙂

  16. Pas says:

    It’s another reason for me to drink, Dave, thanks for the great open chat yesterday!

  17. rob says:

    I was actually against signing richards for the whole offseason until I saw the numbers. $6.7 mill is nothing for a guy of this talent. I was expecting like an 8 mill cap hit but this looks good. Can’t wait for October 7 Let’s go Rangers

  18. MR. X says:

    Well Richards certainly improves our team, but by how much is the question.

  19. Fotiu is God says:

    Sticktap to you, Dave, for consistently highlighting the logic and time sensitive nature of bringing in Richards.

    What did Gabby get two seasons back when Vinny Prospal–no slouch, no slight intended–was his primary centerman?

    Should chemistry develop between the 14-million dollar men and Hank stay healthy Blueshirts go from middle rung to perhaps top five in The Eastern Conference.

    Divisionally, after Philly’s management burned down the village to save it, I like our intangibles far more than Holmgren’s Heros. We’re also close to being the skill match of The Pens, perhaps with better overall depth.

  20. Matt J says:

    A NMC????????????????????? SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT SHIT. What did we learn from Drury??? Anything????? Please prove me wrong Brad. I love you and hope you do great things. The fans are behind you 200%.

    • Dave says:

      Dude. Chill. NMC’s don’t prevent buyouts, which is what would happen in those back end years.

      • Matt J says:

        I am overreacting obviously, but I think i was just pissed about this because too many people mentioned Drury, and Gomez, and they got to me. A NMC isn’t the most desirable thing.

  21. Mikeyyyy says:

    Long contract but not outrageous. I was against this but theybsigned him for the right price. And no Ntc. So if he stinks it up we can still trade him.

    Not the magic silver bullet as there are a lot of ifs and maybes still on the roster.

    But I do expect a longer run in the playoffs and a better regular season record.