Guest Post: Is Brad Richards Worth It?

November 20, 2011, by

As we attempt to give back to our awesome followers here, we are giving the opportunity to write guest posts that we will post on Sundays. In the first of these guest posts, poster Brian looks at how we can judge if Brad Richards and Mike Rupp were worth signing this offseason.

There is a question every market will pose when their team has sprung an extra buck to add someone with a “name” to their roster. Was he a good acquisition?  Is he paying off? Is he worth the payday?

This question hits home hard this season for the Rangers as they went out and secured two Stanley Cup (one with multiple Cup wins and another who was an MVP to his only ring) winners.

Both of which had handsome price tags attached. The problem with this question is that it is always posed too early. Already we see the blogs and TV hosts posing this question in regards to Brad Richards. Why is it too early?

Last season was a shaky year. It was a roller coaster of a year which saw the Rangers bring a first full-season rookie (Derek Stepan) in a good while.  It was also a season that also saw the top goal producer fall off in production. It still ended up with a playoff berth, albeit short lived.

However two seasons ago, the new superstar acquisition was on fire and the Rangers still missed the playoffs. What does all this tell you? No season will make perfect sense.  But the only true way to see if there has been improvement is the simplest way there is:  Where did the team end up after the smoke cleared? How have the changes affected the club when faced with the same situation as before? Do they fall again? Do they live to see another day?

It is this guest bloggers belief that until the team has reached the playoffs, we will NOT know who was or wasn’t worth it.

Imagine either of the two previous playoff appearances had the Rangers faced the Capitals with the addition of Brad Richards and Mike Rupp. A big, able body like Rupp going up against Laich. A Richards and Gaborik combination to compete with the Ovechkin and Semin combination.

Unless the smoke clears to reveal a complete playoff miss (which would take a serious titanic- esque error), then it will not be known until the first round of the playoffs is complete.  If the Rangers don’t make it to the first round, then the answer is a resounding NO! If they get to the first round and lose again regardless of how many games, the answer is again answer NO.

What happens this time around when the Rangers are locked in the room with the kid looking to beat them and take their lunch money? Will they fork it over? Or did they put on enough muscle over the summer to put up a fight?

Will the newfound strength get them past the bully, intact, and headed to the lunchroom to grub?

It’s too early. Ask again in May.

I’ll close this with a jab at our friends across the Hudson.

Hows Ilya working out? Going places aren’t ya..mmm? (Last sentence to be read in baby Stewie’s voice.)

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  1. Dave says:

    Great job Brian, thanks for the contribution.

  2. Keeps says:

    Interesting post idea, well done. I do think however, to judge the merits of the 9 year contract based on the first year is somewhat short-sighted. Players like Richards with a playoff-pedigree and no make up concerns (see your example of Kovalchuk, Ilya) don’t hit the open market all that often so I understand why the Ranger’s jumped at the opportunity.

    Did they pull the trigger a year or so early? It’s entirely possible, but Richards should have at least 3 or 4 really productive years left in him. We are looking to win at least one cup during Hanks prime and even if that isn’t this year, I think Richards contract can still be a very successful addition.

  3. The suit says:

    I agree with keeps, one year is a bit annectodotal, messier didn’t win us a cup his first season on broadway

  4. Walt says:

    Richards is worth the price paid because without him this team would be rock bottom in their division.

    Lets face it with Brad we now have two scoring lines, without him every team puts their best checkers on Gabby, and we score nothing. The current make up of this team is a bunch of blue collar players, no real dynamo other than Gabby, shut him down, and we lose. Lets let this season play itself out before we make any analysis of the contracts worth.

    • The Suit says:

      Certainly one than one way to skin this…good points

      Hey at least EC isn’t on the first line anymore. Success!

  5. Bway Bshirt says:

    Yea that was the point of the article..people are asking the question is he worth it too soon.
    Thanks for reading!

  6. kgb16 says:

    I am not as certain as you that the Rangers are going to make the playoffs. They are still being outplayed in most games that they have participated in, saved only by stellar goaltending. The only thing that hasn’t reflected the balance of play is the score. I don’t think this will hold up all year. Rupp is a dud on the order of Boogard. We never needed him. Deveaux is better.

  7. Mikeyyyy says:

    People say we are one. Left wing away from a deep playoff run or a true offensive dman away from it.

    I agree. But I will say we are one coach away from the playoffs….no not torts. Sullivan. We need a pure pp coach that is allowed to take that and run with it.

  8. becky says:

    Great post – I agree that without a Titanic-esque disaster, we won’t know until next year. So far so good though! Also, quality FG reference haha