Tom Jones at the Tampa Bay Times feels that if the Rangers buyout Brad Richard this offseason, there is a good chance he could re-unite with the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Jones adds that three years, $3 million per year might be enough to sign Richards when he becomes a UFA if the Rangers decide to use their final amnesty on him.
Besides Richards' obvious link to the Lightning, Jones feels the former Conn Smyth winner could help a number of ways...
"Richards moving over to wing and lining up next to his old buddy Vinny Lecavalier. Richards quarterbacking a power play that could use a quarterback. Richards offering leadership in the locker room, on the bench and on the ice. Richards making the organization proud in the community."
...Jones obviously hasn't watched much tape of the Rangers because Richards couldn't quarterback the power play out of a paper bag this season.
...having said that, a reunion between the two sides does make sense. Especially at that price. If the Rangers do dump Richards some team is going to get a good player on the cheap. And no, the Rangers are not allowed to re-sign him at a discount price after amnestying him.
As far as the Rangers actually pulling the trigger on a buyout, Larry Brooks at the New York Post offers even more incentive for the Blueshirts to do it by introducing us to the cap-recapture penalty...
"The Blueshirts would be hit with an annual cap penalty of either $5.664 million or $5.666 million per if Richards were to retire with between one and three years remaining on his deal."
Richards will be 38 years old when the cap-recapture penalty kicks in.
...after witnessing the decline in Richards' game this season, you have to be concerned that he'll be looking to hang 'em up around that time in his career, so holding on to him could be even more of a negative than I initially anticipated. Absolutely no reason to give Richards a chance to bounce back next season and risk him becoming exempt from the amnesty buyout if he's injured. Also, even if he does bounce back, do you still want him clogging up the Rangers cap space till 2020 or chance him retiring in the final three years of his contract?
...thank you for your service Brad, we'll always remember your Game 5 goal against the Capitals last season and everything you did in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but it's time for you to go.
Richard's benching the final two games tells me the Rangers then decided to shut him down for the year to avoid an injury and negating his amnesty buyout. Smart. I would'nt be surprised to see him revisit Dallas, as he was very successful there, had great chemistry w/ Loui Erikson, and would fit nicely as their no.2 center. For us, I'll keep saying it, we need a BIG no.1 center to play with Nash. Patrik Berglund is the only C (FA) I can come up with.
I was a supporter of bringing Richards back for one more year, and I still wouldn't be totally against it, but I just don't see the Rangers doing it for fiscal reasons. The injury thing to me is a non-factor. Is it possible he suffers some catastrophic injury in game 1 and is out for a year, sure, it's POSSIBLE, but not likely for a guy that missed 10 games one season with a concussion and broke both wrists another season to miss 16 games. Neither of those injuries would prevent the Rangers from buying him out. Besides, he probably has a 1/4 of the season to prove last year was a fluke, otherwise the Rangers would shut him down like they were going to do to Redden. They will buy him out for the cap space and to avoid cap hell at the end of his deal.
At this point, going into the season with Stepan and Brassard as your 1/2 centers would be a mistake and I don't think they do it. They certainly both have the talent to excel in those roles, but Stepan is unproven as the #1 center over a full season, and Brassrd showcased his talents for all of 13 games (not incl playoffs). Before that he was a VERY ordinary player in Columbus. My guess is they will go after either Ribiero, Roy, or Weiss in the summer once Richards is bought out, unless there's a trade somewhere for a 1 or 2 center.
Richey's contract was ridiculous from the get go. I kind of figured they were shooting themselves in the foot when they signed him. Even if he were to bounce back to where he was last year it wouldn't be worth the money and cap space. Don't see any option to keep him
@KevinDeLury - re Richards not being able to QB the Tampa powerplay based on this past season, I'd stop short of saying that. Brian Leetch couldn't have QB'd the Rangers powerplay this season. It wasn't the QB, and we tried many at that position, it was the system, or lack of one taht doomed our PP.
I'm sorry , Brad Richards Salary is a joke .....AND NO I DONT WANT TO WAIT TO SEE HOW HE PERFORMS WITH ANOTHER COACH - I WANT SATHER TO TAKE THAT SALARY AND GRAB SOME FAST NEW YOUNG KIDS THAT WILL PLAY THEIR HEARTS OUT !
Pete, I was initially in agreement with what you're saying, but financially it makes too much sense to buy him out now. He's a $6.67 million cap hit till 2020 and if he retires in the final three years of his contract Rangers still charged almost $6 million per. Not worth it in my opinion. Also, if he's injured this coming season, Rangers won't be able to buy him out next offseason.
Don't you wait to see how he performs in NY under a motivational coach? He's been dealing with the opposite and that may be why it hasn't worked in NY. His trade value is low so nothing to lose.
Right now without even adding anyone new we have nearly a complete team of home grown or young players if the prospects are brought in.Brad Richards is not even a consideration in this homegrown lineup ,which is hopefully a quality one.Hoping Oscar Lindberg et all make the team.Richards is too old, too risky, looking real bad for some reason or another and too expensive.He's gone while we have the chance to say adios.Next year could be a banner year if the ducks are all in a row for us.
THANK GOD - my grandmother is faster and would probably produce more points than RICHARDS....he's gotta go ! thats the bottom line !! he can't perform like he use to and hes the 2nd highest paid player in the NHL ,,,,that's embarrassing !
thank you Kev! I was starting to think I was nuts for wanting him bought out. we could add a scorer and depth for his cap space. just imagine if this season wasnt a fluke and he's still a waste next season...goodbye cup window!
Even if we could re-sign him for $3 mil/yr, I wouldn't want him back. That money will be better spent elsewhere.
Spot on. We have Stepan, brassard , miller coming up even the swedes no room for him anymore up the middle. We need to get to a level of being able to put 12 forwards on the ice who at any time out there can score. Can play in any situation and be a threat to score every time they step on the ice. while I liked Haley and Newburys grit they couldn't puck the puck in the ocean. That's how we have been beaten the last two years it wasn't the top guns of the other teams (NJ and Boston) it was the 4 th lines.
thank the gods for what?
that's a good point ... i'm still not sure Richards could QB elsewhere, but point well taken
@GLENsatherVSglennDANZIG I initially wanted to give him another chance to prove himself, but the risks are not worth the rewards. See ya!
@Lordstanleybroadway amen. Step and Brass look like they could be a strong 1-2 combo and Boyle a solid number 4. Just need a good #3, and Miller just might fit that bill.
Even fasth or Linberg and put miller on a wing. Ill take a miller fasth and Linberg line sign me up. Low profile signing like Ryder for the top 6. Put Kreider up there as well.
we're definitely far from winning a cup if our third line is Miller, Fasth, and Lindberg ... not saying I don't like that line, just that those kids have a long way to go
This team is so far away from holding the cup. Hire a young mind who works well with young kids. Convince Sather to do more trades fro Brassard's and Moore's and stop FA signings.