Richards on the way, if Rangers pay

If I heard it once, I heard it a dozen times during this Entry Draft weekend in Minnesota: “[Brad] Richards told [X] he wants to come to New York.”

And this, too: “Slats [general manager Glen Sather] is going to blow his brains out to sign Richards.”

To which I respond: If Richards “wants to come to New York,” $32.5 million over five years — starting at $11 million this year to protect against a potential future rollback — should be enough money and enough of a commitment for him to achieve his dream.

And this: If Sather does indeed “blow his brains out to sign Richards,” to borrow from the vernacular, then the GM truly will have lost his mind.

The risk/reward line is hazy enough on a five-year front-loaded contract offer at $6.5 million per for this 31-year-old center coming off a concussion. But it represents a gamble worth taking given Richards’ elite skills, relationship with coach John Tortorella and ability to fill the massive hole in the middle of the first line and to quarterback the power play from the point.

For the Rangers to even think of giving Richards the eight years and $50 million to $55 million that apparently will be the starting point of negotiations when the market opens on Friday is so far off the charts, it shouldn’t even be a consideration for a franchise that has been burned over and over and over again on long-term, pricey contracts for free agents who all “wanted to come to New York.”

Don’t read this as an attack on Richards, for he’s not positioning himself any differently than any other player has in dealing with the Rangers. It’s just, when is enough, enough, and especially for a player who has already earned close to $50 million in his career, and has spent the greater part of the last eight months telling friends he wants to play in New York?

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3 Responses to Richards on the way, if Rangers pay

  1. JoelLeafs says:

    Im sensing a trend: Whenever X person says that Richards (or his agent) told them that he wanted to go to Y team, they have no reliable source.

    I doubt that Richards and his agent would be dumb enough to casually let it slip that he wants to go to this or that city. This type of talk on their part would simply hurt their negotiating power.

    Dumb dumb dumb.

  2. SabresFan220 says:

    Supposedly Richards has said that one of the main considerations for where he'll land is wanting to win another Cup. He's not dumb enough to think the Rangers will be anywhere near capable of that in the next few years. If he wants another Cup, he should sign with a team who's actually trying to build a winner in the near future, not the Rangers, Toronto, or even Winnipeg.

    Look for teams that are on the upswing: Philly (despite the recent trades), the Kings, (although I think they have their Richards now) San Jose, Buffalo, and Montreal

    Yes, obviously I'm a Sabres fan, and I believe that Pegula and Regier will make a solid push for Richards. If he doesn't end up in Buffalo they will get someone else, whether another UFA center or via trade. But I think Richards is the primary target, and Pegula seems to get what he wants so far. As an owner the man has done everything right so far, maybe he's got 1 more ace up his sleeve this summer.

  3. blaze says:

    Kind of amazed you included Montreal on that list. Other than that solid points, except in the end money always plays a big factor.

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