Tampa Locks up Richards

The Tampa Bay Lightning have re-signed their leading point scorer Brad Richards to a 5 year, $39 million dollar contract; making it $7.8M yearly salary.

58 Responses to Tampa Locks up Richards

  1. AfroCon says:

    Change “point production” by “assists”.

    He’s actually 9th in terms of points in the last 5 years behind Jagr, Thornton, Naslund, Sakic, Alfredsson, Hossa, Sundin and Iginla.

  2. le_sean says:

    Like everyone has said before me, there is probably a trade coming. Seeing as how Lecavalier is one of the best players in the league, as well as Richards and both are young compared to 30 year old St. Louis, it seems Martin will be the odd man out. $20 million for 3 guys is a lot, what they really need is a #1 goalie. Even if they kept the 3 players and got themselves a #1, they would have around $24-25 million dedicated to just 4 guys, which is ridiculous.

    So let’s look at a couple of trade possibilities…

    Like I said St. Louis will be the odd man out, sure he had the one fantastic season, but the other two are more consistant and they aren’t even in their prime years yet. Plus with 2 centres of that calibre, you have two lines that are dangerous. St. Louis showed at the end of the season and in the playoffs that he can still be a dominant player and he is fit perfectly for the new NHL, so a lot of teams would be interested, even at $5.25 million.

    Montreal Canadiens

    Now I might be biased since I am a huge Habs fan, but this could make sense for both teams. Montreal has Aebischer who is expendible because of Huet (pending on a signing), and Abby is a solid #1 at about $2 million. Now Abby himself would not be enough to get St. Louis, since he isn’t a proven playoff performer, so it would have to take another player, maybe a Zednik who has scored 30 goals before and would give more depth to the Lightning. Abby at $2 million and Zednik at $1.9 million is $4 million, so Tampa addresses their need of a dependable goalie and replaces St. Louis with a winger that can score just as many goals as Martin did last year.

    In the case of Montreal, they get a big need of a game-breaking winger to play with Ribeiro and Kovalev. Bulis can’t hit the broad side of a barn and doesn’t fight for the puck as much as he should, plus he doesn’t seem too interested in coming back. Keeping the Higgins-Koivu-Ryder line with a Kovalev-Ribeiro-St. Louis line gives you 2 great lines that can be dangerous (I know St. Louis and Kovalev are RW’s, but Kovy proved he can play on either side). Getting rid of Zednik also opens up a wing on the 3rd line with Plekanec and Perezhogin, and this wing can be given to either Andrei Kostitsyn (who proved he can score in the AHL) or Guillaume Latendresse (the Habs future savior). Now you have 3 dynamic lines ad the 4th defensive line of Begin-Bonk-Murray. What St. Louis gives is a proven scorer who has a lot of heart and can play both the PP and the PK. Montreal needed more offense and they will get it with him. Plus you’re giving a French Canadian player he chance to wear a Canadiens jersey, and Francophones seem to play a lot better when it’s for their team. The fans would also love him. Give Yann Danis a chance to fill the back-up position and maybe get another d-man, like a Jovo, and you have yourself a fantastic team.

    Anaheim Mighty Ducks and San Jose Sharks

    These are two other teams that have great goalies just sitting on the bench (Giguere and Nabokov). But I believe these two teams will be more reluctant in getting St. Louis. First of all, Anaheim needs a #1 centre between Selanne and McDonald more than they need a #1 winger. With Lupul, Kunitz, Perry already up and Bobby Ryan possibly coming next year, they do not have much room for another wingman. Granted St. Louis would give much leadership and help an already fast team, but Brian Burke is a GM that looks for youth more than anything and will probably trade Giguere for draft pick(s) or prospect(s).

    San Jose on the other hand has Toskala, Schaefer and Nabokov, and since Evgeni is sitting on the bench and making $5.4 million, he is gone for sure. But this team needs to be able to resign captain Marleau first, and he will be asking for a lot because of his playoff performance. With Richards’ hefty paycheque, it seems Marleau can get at least $5 million, maybe $6 million. However, this team needs a good winger to play with Marleau, and St. Louis would be perfect for them. But with Joey T’s $6.6 million, St. Louis’ $5.25 million, Cheechoo’s $3 million and maybe Marleau’s $5 million, thats

    $20 million owed to just 4 players, and I don’t know if they would be willing to do that, but who knows.

    Buffalo Sabres and Boston Bruins

    There are only two other teams I can think of that would be a possibility. They are Boston and Buffalo. Boston has Raycroft and Thomas. I don’t think they should just give up on young Raycroft, but if they do I don’t think they would go for St. Louis. This team is rebuilding and with a top draft pick in the next draft, they will be picking their next future star to revolve around (with Bergeron), they don’t need St. Louis, and will probably be trading Raycroft for another pick.

    Buffalo on the other hand has Martin Biron who is a dependable #1 and is also just sitting on the bench. St. Louis fits the team’s style of play and wold compliment them really well. But Buffalo does not have many players under contract and they will probably focus on getting key people back like Briere and Afinogenov, but you never know.

    Maybe it’s because I’m a huge Habs fan, but it seems Tampa could get more out of trading with them and Montreal gets a lot too. Both would fill glaring needs and make themselves better. The only thing one has to ask himself is that is Abby that much better than Grahame? I think so, and he has more experience, plus you get depth with Zednik. Now it doesn’t not have to be Zed, but Tampa is not rebuilding and they would lvoe to have a player to make an impact now rather than a prospect. We will see.

  3. Aetherial says:

    Aebischer *should* be enough for St. Louis… the fact is, he has a bad contract and will be tough to trade. If a bidding war starts, then maybe Aebischer + … but the + won’t be very big.

    Otherwise, Tampa just takes whoever offers the best goalie.

  4. the_word says:

    Why trade for Abby, when they could sign someone like legace or cujo for the same money, then they could turn St.Louis for draft picks or players that fit their needs?

  5. i_know_hockey says:

    This makes Richards the player with the 2nd highest salary in the league behind Jagr… by no means is he worthy to be paid this gross amount. He may be good, but not good enough for 2 overall

  6. AfroCon says:

    The guy is an elite player and deserves to be paid an elite player’s salary.

  7. Aetherial says:

    It was idiotic… Tampa will not contend again with this strategy. It just won’t work under this CBA.

  8. Aetherial says:

    I don’t think the market for St. Louis is very bold.

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