Today in his weekly Slap Shots column, Larry Brooks of the New York Post examines Brad Richards' slow start to the season and weighs the pros and cons of using a amnesty buyout on the Blueshirts alternate captain.
Obviously, there's every chance it's just a slump and not necessarily the decline of Richards' skills. Brooks acknowledges this by calling his article "premature speculation" (nice one, Larry). However, with the team needing to sign five key free agents this summer and virtually the entire team the following summer, New York may not have the ability to be patient with Richards.
The Rangers, as currently constituted, will have approximately $10 million of space to fill five roster spots next season. That includes three positions reserved for restricted free agents Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin. That leaves the club with limited maneuverability regarding moves not only over the summer, but this season as well if they include adding players with contracts that run into next year.
This makes it much more likely than not that the Rangers would execute their final amnesty buyout this summer rather than next, when the cap cannot go down and conceivably will go up.
Brooks also suggest Marian Gaborik could be a candidate, but using a buyout on one of your best offensive players still in his prime and signed for just one more season would be a foolish thing to do.
- Kevin suggested it. Hockey Rodent has discussed it recently. Now, Larry Brooks is writing about it. You can say all you want how ludicrous an idea it is, but it's gaining steam as a real option.
- Realize the team has to sign its key players, the cap is going down next year and we're possibly witnessing the decline of a player in front of our eyes who is signed for the next SEVEN years at $6.67 million. It's not such a crazy idea.
- I'm still willing to give Richards the benefit of the doubt he can turn things around, but I'm not holding my breath on it. And using the flu in training camp as an excuse for his struggles is officially done.
What? We can't trade this guy? Is it possible he has no market value? I agree that he simply must go as he has proven to be a disappointment in NY. and will continue to digress as a player (getting older) and a financial burden going forward. As I look at the possible trade partners for Richards (and there are not many), one that stands out is moving him back to Dallas, where (1) they have plenty of cap space, (2) he seems more comfortable playing (less pressure?), and (3) they are looking to acquire forwards. Sather must learn how to financially structure a balanced team and not give in to acquiring top heavy & long term contracts. And Torts must learn a better way to coach. Nailing a player to the bench for the entire 3rd period ( especially one of your stars and few players who can score a desperately needed goal to win a game) is not fair to the fans who pay to see them, and a tremendous waste and mismanagement of players & payroll.
This year he is awful but last year he was awesome. Its tough cause of the shortened season, lack of camp and what not so the factors are there of why he could have a shit season. Not excuses just observations
buying out richards entails sather going to dolan and saying, i fucked up. we have to release this guy and its only going to cost us millions and millions of dollars. i dont see it happening. i dont see sather owning up to it and i dont see dolan going for it.
it's not realistic by any stretch and not needed. he's in a slump at the worst possible time. does he look 40 out there? yeah. is it gonna stay that may? i doubt it.
too early to consider this move and uncle larry is just trying to sell papers.
his lack of effort and total disappearance are very odd for him. we will just have to wait and see (which is the last thing any of us want to do lol) how this unfolds.
but i gotta say, overall with this team, ive been turning off the games after the 2nd period. you couldnt do that with the rangers last year. it seems like they could overcome any lead by another team. THAT rangers team is GONE.
Don't you see that the whole team is spilling Torts by deliberately playing crappy hockey & losing games??? Time to go, Ratface. They won't go nowhere w/ you behind the bench
Don't do anything stupid just get rid of Torts. This Ratface egomaniac is totally incapable of coaching this great team. Leave the players alone & get rid of the coach if you smart in the management.
Wow Rangers fans are angry today. Which is fine. It was a brutal weekend for the Blueshirts. But the sun will rise tomorrow and there are winnable games on the horizon. I'm hoping Rangers were utterly embarrassed and will use these last two games as motivation moving forward.
I think I'm gunna take a break for a week or so from posting on here. I honestly can't believe some people are suggesting we blow the team up. We have a solid team, but with so many new pieces and with no training camp to build up this brotherhood mindset, we haven't been able to build much chemistry. And these injuries certainly aren't helping.
Pittsburgh has 24 points in 18 games played. We have 18 points in 17 games played. We are, literally, 3 games behind them. That's not much ground to make up. We're all freaking the (excuse my language) fuck out, yet we're still in the mix. I understand we have played some of the worst hockey in two of the past three games, but when we're a team struggling with injuries and struggling to find our identity, that's going to happen. Yes it's a shortened season and we don't have the time to deal with these types of slumps, but you know what? It seems like we're just gunna have to deal with it.
Everyone expected us to be the #1 seed right out of the gate...well when the hell does that ever actually happen? We all need to calm down and just relax. These next fewgames will be good for us. Winnipeg is a team that's not exactly thriving, we've beaten Tampa twice this year, and Buffalo...well my roommate is a Sabres fan and he feels even worse than we do about his team. So before we nuke the goddamn team and decide to try Gabby, Richie, fire Torts and all of this crazy non-sense, how about we play some hockey and support this mess we have in front of us. Since if you don't believe they're gunna turn this ship around, then you have no right to call yourself a true Rangers fan.
And that's all I have to say about that.
@JoshKaye I don't agree about Richards yet. That's a harsh move. I think Brooks is doing what he usually does to stir the pot and cause controversy. However, there are some hard realities coming up the next two seasons, that's the business of hockey. Sooner or later that will be addressed whether fans like it or not. Rosters always change. A poor performance for this entire season will definitely affect those office decisions. But seriously C'mon.....anyone who thinks this team is fine has his head in the sand. This team has played terrible hockey. All the things about the lockout and injuries are factors, but there were plenty of games that were atrocious with EVERYONE that mattered in the lineup. There's no effort most nights - that's not from flu or three injuries or a lockout. There is nothing wrong with criticizing the team you love. It makes you no less of a fan. In fact I would argue it makes you a BETTER fan. Anyone who blindly follows everything without questioning is a toddler or a loon. I hope they turn it around, but I reserve the right to sh*t on them if they don't. They aren't giving refunds at the Garden or discounts on my massive cable bill for sucking. And the prices never go down for us..."true fans" or not. Criticize away baby! and Let's Go Rangers!
I think everyone should calm down. I think the rangers step up on this home stand and win 3 of four or sweep it. Like last season with Thornton saying we were soft I think yesterday's game was our wake up call. Mark my words the rangers start to play a lot better starting Tuesday, and start to drop the gloves more. Just have faith.
I have certainly not been quiet about my feelings on Ritchie's play so far this year and although critical of many of the teams lack of perceived desire I do hope that Ritchie is able to find his game again and play at the illustrious level that he is capable of. That being said financially I am confident that slats will take Ritchie a advancing age and that unlike a nick Lidstrom he has shown an inability to continue playing at an elite level commensurate with his current salary. It is in the Rangers best interest to at least consider the options available to them. With Gabby becoming more like Semin I don't see him sticking around and if buying out Ritchie frees up cap space to keep other up and coming guys as well as potentially solid depth it has to be considered for the continued health and well being of the team. Signing aging players to long term big money contracts is risky as few seem able to make the contracts make sense. Ritchie has had a phenomenal career and still posses the ability to make clutch plays but is his play worth the current price tag?!?
Yea, great idea. Team makes it to EC finals one year struggles for a month the next season, time to blow it up. Worked wonders for the Flyers. Great plan!
i think you guys have no clue about hockey,richards has always started slow and you guys want to get rid of him.the reason why this team sucks is not cause of richards,its cause we lost to much over the summer and in the trade for NASH thats why.we were so close last year and just needed a person that can score.the main thing hurting this team is THE COACHES THEY NEED TO GO NOT ANY PLAYERS THIS TIME
the reason why this team sucks isnt cause of richards slow start,its cause we went out and had to have NASH on this team.the rangers lost to much over the summer and didnt get anything back for what we lost,we lost dubi,arty,prusty,avery all big parts of the rangers and we got back NASH(who is hurt) asham(who is hurt)halper who hasnt done anything and pyatt that showed up for the first few games thats why this team sucks stop blaming richards for this teams start IF YOU WANT TO BLAME ANYONE FOR THE SLOW START AND THE PLAYERS NOT PLAYING GOOD ENOUGH TO WIN YOU HAVE TO LOOK AT THE COACHES THEY SUCK AND MUST GO
Why buy anyone out at this stage. Richards may have some trade value (Scott Gomez redux) and Gaborik has huge trade value. This team needs to be rebuilt and it starts with draft picks and young prospects.
This the most idiotic idea, this Ranger team is already built & built very well. Wanna rebuild? Start from Torts & coaching staff.
@shishya100 REBUILD?????? if we're rebuilding then we might as well get rid of Lundqvist cause he wants to win now not rebuild .... buyout richards and that gives us just over 6 million to help sign key players ..... Rebuild hahah yah thats why they traded for Nash is to rebuild, give me a break
@AE61 @shishya100 "needs to be rebuilt and it starts with draft picks and young prosepects"???? really??? sorry, but thats what we all just watched last night. If I'm counting right, 12 of the 20 players on last nights roster wore an NYR sweater in their first NHL game, if you include Hank and the fact that Gilroy left and came back. Add in that If DZ had played for Eminger that number would be 13 out of 20. I don't think you'll find many teams with a ratio that high. then realize that all but Cally, Hank, Girardi and Gilroy are still playing on their first contract. No one associated with the Rangers, fan, player, management, blogger or beat writer, should be allowed to even whisper the word "rebuild" for at least the next 7 years. This is our team now. It's the team the fans wanted, the team the coach wanted, and the team that critics always wanted the Rangers to have back in the days when our locker room used to be a group of mercenaries. This organization has been rebuilt, now they need to come together and be a team.
@TheNYRBlog why get rid of a star for underperforming when ENTIRE team is; stark reality is its easier to replace coach in that situation
Isn't the issue whether he's worth the contract, not whether he's a good player in a slump? Even if he plays well, it's arguably a bad contract under the new CBA. From a business perspective it makes total sense to buy him out. In addition, lets face it, he's on the downside of his career and the contract has how many more years? It's an obvious business move. My question is, can they buy him out and then resign him to something more reasonable -say 3.5 per year for 2-3 years?
@rangersfan No they cannot resign him and I don't think they can trade for him for the following season.
I've been saying this since the beginning of the shortened season. I do believe Richards will be here for next season, but will be bought out in 2014, not for skill purposes, but for contract purposes. If Richie could find it in his heart to maybe restructure his deal then that may not be the case. But when 2014 roles around, we have to look at the guys who are free agents: Hank, Cally, Gabby, Boyle, Pyatt, Powe, Asham, Girardi, Stralman, Bickel, Biron. Those are only UFA's. RFA's consist of Kreider, Miller, Del Z, and a few guys down with the Whale. I know we won't resign all of those guys (obviously), but there's a good chunk of guys that will be wanting a raise of some sort.
Honestly though, when you think about it, who else could we use the buyout on? I don't think it's ludicrous at all. It's a business move that, I think, has to be done.
@JoshKaye -- the problem with buying him out in 2014 is that it will count against the cap .... for a long, long time
@AG_Blue No it won't. The amnesty buyout is for this upcoming summer and the summer of 2014.
@JoshKaye -- interesting ...
@AG_Blue Or what the guy above me said.
"- Each team will be allowed two amnesty buyouts that can be used to terminate contracts after this season and next season. The buyouts will count against the players' overall share in revenues, but not the team's salary cap.
The Rangers got a special exception for Redden.
@AG_Blue @JoshKaye http://cdn.agilitycms.com/nhlpacom/PDF/Summary-of-Terms-1-10-13.pdf Under #6, Compliance Buyouts- "During the Ordinary Course “Buy-Out” periods following the 2012/13 season and 2013/14 season, in addition to any other Ordinary Course “Buy-Outs” a Club may elect to effectuate pursuant to Paragraph 13 of the SPC, Clubs may elect to terminate and “buy-out” the already existing SPCs of up to two (2) additional Players (in the aggregate over the two (2) years) on a Compliance basis (a “Compliance Buy-Out”). Such Compliance Buy-Out(s) would be effectuated on the same terms as are set forth in Paragraph 13 of the SPC, except that the amounts paid under such “buy-out(s)” will not be charged against the Club’s Cap in any of the years in which the payments are made to the Player. Amounts paid under such Compliance Buy-Out(s) will, however, be counted against the Players’ Share during any League Year in which the “buy-out” payments are made. A Player that has been bought out under these Compliance Buy-Out provisions shall be prohibited from re-joining the Club that bought him out (via re-signing, Assignment, Waiver claim or otherwise) for the duration of the 2013/14 League Year (if the Player was bought out in 2013) and the 2014/15 League Year (if the Player was bought out in 2014)."
@JoshKaye -- positive? i've read conflicting accounts. where is the definitive source?
"...instead of the now-traditional single "compliance" buyout that would allow teams to get closer to the new, significantly lowered salary cap that will go into effect next season, the NHL will instead allow there to be two buyouts before the 2013-14 season."
I think it's gotta be this summer or nothing.
This is just classic NY sports fan syndrome right here. Had a few bad games? Get the hell out. You're useless. We don't want you. Booooo.
@coontzbloontz Few? He has not been up to snuff since we signed him. He kept talks of getting rid of him at bay in the playoffs by being clutch a few times, but you can only hide behind that for so long.
@coontzbloontz -- there's a lot of that, sure, but this contract didn't look that great from the beginning -- except that Richards was not only going to fix our power play but he was going to be our win now starting center. Add Rick Nash we're a shoe-in to compete for the cup this year, right?
It's the length of his contract, his age, the lowering cap, and all the younger RFA's and UFA's we need to sign in the next two years.
this isn't like derek Jeter getting old and having a bad season at bat - that guy is still a leader on the field and in the locker room. this is more like A-Rod becoming worthless in most of his post season appearances and we're in a 48 game post season right now.
The length of his contract is the big reason, other than his dismal play, to buyout Richards. Like @GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG and others have noted, what will he look like in years 5, 6, 7. Gaby's got one more year, I don't see wasting the buyout on him.
When does the window close on this amnesty deal? I'm not sure we have the opportunity after this summer.
They won't buy him out this summer. It's been a weird year with the lockout and it's gotta be partly conditioning. If next year is worse than this, they'll almost have no choice though.
@jtf1218 I don't think they would be able to buy him out after next season. I think the next buyout period is before the start of next season.
@AG_Blue @Beckfan5 It's next summer. This is from the Brooks article- "This makes it much more likely than not that the Rangers would execute their final amnesty buyout this summer rather than next, when the cap cannot go down and conceivably will go up." The Gomez and Redden buyouts don't affect the original timeline.
@AG_Blue @Beckfan5 The amnesty buyout deadline is Summer 2014. Brooks' opinion is that it would only make sense to do it this summer though since the cap will go up after next year.