"The relationship between Richards and head coach John Tortorella makes this different than the all the failed signings preceding it. This isn't a coach hoping a player can do the job; this is a coach knowing the player can get it done."
Brooks adds that this move is about winning now, not about getting younger.
...as I have said the more I hear Richards the more I like the guy, but I would still rather the Rangers not have gotten him. I was extremely excited about the path they were on developing youth and building from within.
...yes, just because other big contract signings haven't worked for the Rangers doesn't mean this one won't, but the Richards signing turns the Rangers into a win now team and it's only a matter of time before they are sitting in the fourth or fifth playoff position come trade deadline time and they'll have to make a choice to either go for it by giving up young talent for a veteran who's been there or stand pat. And to me it's not a choice at all as Richards was brought in to win the Rangers a Stanley Cup. How could they possibly explain to him or the Blueshirt Faithful that they've decided to pass on possibly the missing link to the franchise's fifth Stanley Cup because they don't want to compromise the organization's future? They can't and they won't.
...and that's my biggest concern. What if they go for it and don't win a Cup? The Rangers could then find themselves stuck with a broken down 37-year-old center with three years left on his contract along with a barren minor league system. Not exactly a great scenario.
Kevin, I was with you all the way on not signing Richards. But I was also sure that Sather was going to give him a ridiculous contract. The one he ended up giving him is not bad at all, AND he did not have to give up youth for it. I actually think the Rangers are in cusp mode right now where they could either be legit Cup contenders or still have a few years of re-building to go. It all depends on how the current core progresses this year, as well as the key prospects. I think your fear about the 4th or 5th seed scenario is unwarranted because it would be the case with or without Richards. If the Rangers had not signed him and committed to building from within completely, eventually they would be in that 4th or 5th spot and would still pull the trigger on giving up some youth to get over the hump. They have to. I'll bet most teams that have had championship runs have had to give up coveted youth to get players that ended up being key pieces in their chapionship or dynasty runs. As long as any pieces he brings in are legit, I say go for it.
Get over it DeLury!! I can see not wanting the deal when you thought it was going to be a bidding war, and looking at a huge cap hit year after year.... However, that didnt happen. The Cap hit is very easy to take, and he fills everything this team has needed the past few seasons. Eventually you need to go for it. We havent given up any youth and last time I checked 31 isnt over the hill...It also says something to me that he took less money to play in NY, who ever does that it any sport!!!
If we didn't sign Richards, 10-15 years from now we would have looked at this as a lost opportunity.
You need to realize that so much has to go right when you build from within. Kreider will have to turn into a legitimate scoring, first line LW, Stepan has to reach his potential, McD and Sauer have to improve, and all of the young prospects (Hagelin, Thomas, etc.) have to not turn out to be busts. And don't forget about McIllrath and MDZ... they may be the key to all of this.
With Richards, you're guaranteed to be in contention every year. If the prospects fulfill their potential, great. If not, you can move on without worrying about how to fill that hole you had a bust prospect slotted for. And if it takes trading away a prospect or two for a chance to seal the deal and win a cup, I'll sign up for it now. I trust Sather to be smart about who he trades away and what he gets back. Say what you want about Glen, but he's done an amazing job with trading the past few seasons.
And sure, you can always acquire a star later on when your prospects develop, but who says that star will be there or be as good as Brad is? And why not just get another superstar in due time? All in all, the Rangers cap situation isn't bad at all to build up the team in the next few seasons.
I just feel like this was meant to be. A star center & power play quarterback who's played under our head coach before. I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if we turned this opportunity down. And he comes with a very affordable cap hit too. And with the last three years being buyout friendly, this is basically only a six-year deal.
Brooks' take on the whole Richards thing reflects my own; Initially against it but, as any fan, will support whomever the team chooses to wear the jersey - and will subsequently come up with any justification for that support.
In the final analysis, can you hold the team in contempt for going for the best possible FA that did, in fact, fill a big team need?