Blog Entry

Brad Richards settles on signing with Rangers

Posted on: July 2, 2011 11:15 am
Edited on: July 2, 2011 6:50 pm
 

The biggest free agent is heading to the biggest market.

The front-runners all along, the New York Rangers won the race to sign former Dallas Stars center Brad Richards. Darren Dreger of TSN reports the deal is for nine years and $60 million, an average hit of $6.67 million.

"Very happy to become a New York Ranger today!!!" Richards wrote on his Twitter account. "Playing at MSG will be amazing and looking forward to working with a great young team"

Richards spent the opening day of free agency entertaining team presentations in his agent's office in Mississauga, Ontario. There he hosted the Rangers, Toronto Maple Leafs (sans Brian Burke), L.A. Kings, Tampa Bay Lightning and Calgary Flames. It was expected Richards would make his decision late Friday but instead elected to sleep on it before deciding on the Rangers.

"You can find a player like this as a free agent or find a player like this in the top five [of the draft] and it takes a long time to develop," general manager Glen Sather said. "We needed somebody like this to take us to the next step. I think it's a great opportunity for us. I know he left a lot of money on the table by accepting the offer."

And what about that concussion he suffered near the end of the season? Richards says it's nothing to worry about.

"I have been training for six weeks, way ahead of any other training schedule I have been on because I was healthy after the season," Richards said. "My body felt great, my head felt great, so I got at it pretty quick."

For months it had been assumed the Rangers would be the ultimate winner of the Richards sweepstakes. The Blueshirts needed a top-line center, had the money to spend and Richards had said he wanted to play in a big market where hockey matters. Seems to be a natural fit. But it didn't stay that easy.

The Leafs, Kings and Lightning were not surprise suitors at all. And if any other teams were to be in the mix, it was assumed it would the Sabres in Buffalo and maybe even the Flyers in Philly. Instead, the underdog came in the form of the Flames, who gave Richards a lot to think about.

Dreger reported Saturday morning that the Flames actually offered more money than the Rangers, giving an offer at the same length but for $65 million total. In the end, Richards took less money to head to New York and reunite with his former coach in Tampa, John Tortorella.

The Kings also came to the table with an aggressive offer, trying to give L.A. perhaps the best collection of centers in the NHL with Mike Richards and Anze Kopitar already on the roster. Tim Leiweke, the chief executive of Anschutz Entertainment Group, which owns the Kings, was part of a group that included general manager Dean Lombardi and several others who went to Canada to meet with Richards. Not even video messages from Wayne Gretzky and Kobe Bryant won over Richards.

"We have a lot of respect for Brad and Pat Morris and the way they handled this," Leiweke said. "We understood his desire to play out East and did the best we could to overcome that. We wish him the best. Dean [Lombardi] and his team did a great job. We are focused on other options and are certain this team is going to be very good next year."

His contract isn't as high as I anticipated it might go. Considering some of the contracts that were flying around yesterday in the free-agent frenzy, it was reasonable to assume he would see a number around the $70 million-$75 million range. Instead, the Rangers get him at an average cap hit of $6.67 million -- still a lot, but a reasonable price for a player that had 77 points in 72 games last season. The Rangers could have done worse.

Now, the Rangers still have around $15 million under the salary cap ceiling, according to capgeek.com, which should be enough room to sign restricted free agents Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and Brian Boyle.

Brian Stubits

Photo: Getty Images

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Comments

Since: Jun 8, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2011 3:29 pm
 

Brad Richards settles on signing with Rangers

Sather certainly has made some questionable moves in years past - no one would argue that - but this one is actually pretty good. The Rangers get a bonafide number one center to play with Gaborik and the dollars might actually make it easier to re-sign Ryan Callahan, Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and Brian Boyle - why? Because New York is finally taking a page out of Detroit's book - sign your superstar to a deal with a reasonable average salary and then keep everyone else below that number. As has already been said, nobody is going to walk onto the Red Wings and make more than Datsyuk, Zetterberg or Lidstrom. Provided Sather can flush out his defensive corps, should be a good year for the Rangers.
 



Since: Jun 29, 2011
Posted on: July 2, 2011 3:08 pm
 

Brad Richards settles on signing with Rangers

What you think this is? If you wanna write a book, THEN GO WRITE ONE! It say comment not diatribe.


little ceasars
Since: Jan 1, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2011 2:49 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Aug 10, 2007
Posted on: July 2, 2011 2:40 pm
 

Brad Richards settles on signing with Rangers

I'll bet you 95 of 100 ppl know who Wayne Gretzky is because he was here.



Um...what?
Correct me if I'm wrong, but did you just say 95% of people  know who Gretzky is because he played in New York?



Since: Nov 27, 2006
Posted on: July 2, 2011 2:19 pm
 

Brad Richards settles on signing with Rangers

another great signing by sather lol. he's 31 coming off a concussion, on the downside of his carerr. the real question here is. how has sather not been fired yet. the worst gm in hockey.



Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: July 2, 2011 2:08 pm
 

Brad Richards settles on signing with Rangers

It's funny to read comments knocking the rangers as lazy. Any hockey fan who watches the games knows this team plays hard every night. They have a good coach, and a team that bought into his system, if Richards all of a siudden decides to take the money and call it a day, he didn't have to come to ny to do it, where the fans will crucify him. He could have signed for more money with Calgary where no one would even notice if he's playing well. No move in any sport guarantees anything, but this guy should help a good hard working team, that lacked skill, possibly get to a higher level.



Since: Nov 15, 2008
Posted on: July 2, 2011 1:59 pm
 

Brad Richards settles on signing with Rangers

Even the biggest haters of the big market money wasting Rangers have to like this deal. They desperatley needed this type of front line center, and the money was no different then other teams offers. Now it's up to the player. Just because Sather had a bad run where guys like Gomez didn't pan out, the bulk of this team is young home grown talent, or role players picked up in smaller deals. Gaborik now has a top playmaker to play with, Richards has a pretty good track record working with his coach, Rangers are now a deep talented and young team and should be a big threat in the Easr.



Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: July 2, 2011 1:54 pm
 

Brad Richards settles on signing with Rangers

If Montreal Signed him they would name a street after him

 Maybe, but he wouldn't have a chance to win. The Canadians aren't what they use to be. The Rangers have some really good young players, plus a solid farm system. You combine that with a SC winning coach, a great goalie and now 2 proven scorers and they're looking like a real contender.

While from from the top sport here,  if you win in NYC you get noticed. I'll bet you 95 of 100 ppl know who Wayne Gretzky is because he was here. I'll bet you 90 of 100, heard of Mark Messier. If you win in NYC, you'll get plenty of hype and everyone will know who you are. It's the best of both worlds. Play in relative obscurity and focus on the sport, not being harped on when you falter and reap the benefits of glory.

Btw, NJ is a hotbed of hockey. Bobby Ryan is from Cherry Hill. There are a few other NHL players who played and lived in NJ. Brick is one of the top hockey towns in the USA.




Since: Sep 5, 2009
Posted on: July 2, 2011 1:49 pm
 

Brad Richards settles on signing with Rangers

Thats a good one i have to give you credit on that one but chew on this and lets see who is a better GM.   

When referring to the payroll the  had, a wise man once said, "If I had their payroll, my team would never lose." That wise man was Glen Sather. 

Sather took over as President and GM in 2000 and missed the playoffs the first four seasons. Since the lockout, they've made the playoffs each season but have not gotten passed the second round.

Over the past decade, Ranger fans have seen Slats destroy their organization, which has made them a laughingstock in the . 

These are the top 10 worst trades, signings, and draft picks made by Glen Sather since he left oil country in exchange for the bright lights of the Big Apple.

10. With the exception of Tom Renney, no Ranger coach—including Sather himself—has a winning record behind the bench this decade. From 2000-2004, Ron Low, Bryan Trottier and Sather combined to win 123 games. Tom Renney was the only man to find success, leading the team to the postseason in each of his three full seasons from 2005-08 before being fired in Feb. 2009.

John Tortorella was able to get his team into the playoffs, picking up where Renney left off. He managed to blow a 3-1 on the heavy favorite .

In total, the  managed two series wins for 14 total postseason wins over the past decade. 

 

9. If there is one area Sather has had success in, it would be drafting. Unfortunately, the best draft class of this decade, 2003, was also one in which he wasted a pick on Hugh Jessiman.

Of the 30 players selected in Round One, which includes Zach Parise, Ryan Getzlaf, and Mike Richards, all players selected after the Rangers, Jessiman has the unfortunate title of being the ONLY player to never dress for an NHL game. Of those 30 players, 10 have become All-stars and four have Stanley Cup championships.

 

8. The signing of Scott Gomez came on the same day as the signing of another player deeper down on this list. Some thought giving the Alaskan-born ex-Devil a seven year contract with $7M per was a little steep, but Ranger fans everywhere rejoiced, thinking of the numbers Gomez and Ranger captain Jaromir Jagr would put up for years to come.

Unfortunately, neither could play with each other, and Gomez had two lack-luster seasons on Broadway, finishing with 128 points. He was dealt to  in exchange for Chris Higgins and other minor league prospects this past offseason in order to free up space for right wing free agent Marian Gaborik.

 

7. There seems to be a re- occurring trend when the Rangers sign ex- to come play in New York, as was the case in the summer of 2002, when center Bobby Holik signed a five-year, $45 million contract with the Rangers.

At the time, this seemed like a good signing. Holik played a gritty, smash-mouthed style of hockey during a time when the Rangers lacked at center.

Unfortunately, the Rangers trusted him to center their scoring line. It was not to be. Holik lasted just two seasons with the Rangers, finishing with 91 points before being bought out after the 2004 NHL Lockout.

 

6. July 1, 2007 made Rangers fans grin from ear to ear after signing two high-profile centers. The following season, when the Rangers inked two high-profile defensemen, they wanted Sather's head on a pole.

That day, he gave a four-year, $20 million contract extension to underachieving, non- physical player Michael Rozsival. The thought of seeing No. 3 man the blue-line another four years on a power-play from hell made fans sick. They're still sick.

 

5. The signing of Darius Kasparitus is another head scratcher. He was known throughout the league as a tough, in your face defenseman who had killed the Rangers throughout most of his career. Sather must have thought, "If I can't beat, I'll buy him." And that's just what he did on the same day he brought Mr. Holik to town.

Sather gave Kaspar a six-year, $25 million contract with an extra $1 million per year just for signing there. After the lockout, he stuck around for a part of the follow two seasons before ending his time with the Rangers in the AHL playing for the Hartford Wolfpack. He has since gone on to the KHL.

 

4. Seeing a guy traded away that you grew up with during a championship is always difficult. Rangers fans had to see that in 2001, when Sather sent fan favorite Adam Graves to for Mikael Samuelsson.

Although Samuelsson turned into a decent NHLer (after the Rangers traded him away as well), the thought of having to see Graves in another uniform was a lot for Ranger fans to swallow. It wasn't the last time we'd have to go through that either.

 

3. As mentioned earlier, July 1, 2007 brought another player to town that makes this list. His name is Chris Drury. His first two seasons here were decent but not awe inspiring. That's not the type of player Drury is. He was brought here to be a winner, and frankly, he hasn't.

His contract of five years, $35 million is killing the Rangers this season. His numbers have fallen off the table dramatically, and he's been left to center the fourth line. It was just a case of a decent player being on a great team during the final year of a contract.

 

2. The trade deadline of 2004 dramatically re-shaped the Rangers for years to come, as the team dumped high-priced salaries in return for youth and draft picks. One of the victims was Brian Leetch, arguably the best Ranger to ever put on the red, white, and blue.

Leetch played his entire career with the Rangers until the day Sather sent him to  in exchange for Max Kondratiev and Jarkko Immonen, both of whom had zero success with the Rangers. To make matters worse, it was on Leetch's 36th birthday.

If this trade helped the organization in anyway, I'd be for it. But it did not, and we had to see Leetch sit on the opposing teams bench.

 

1. With so many blunders to choose from, it was hard to decide what should be number one. In the end, I had to choose the signing of defenseman Wade Redden to a six-year, $39 million contract. 

Redden, 31 at the time, had seen his production in  fall dramatically, so the idea of giving him a deal that would keep him a Ranger well into the twilight of his career seemed ludicrous. 

In his first full season in New York, the man the Rangers brought in to quarterback their powerplay tallied just three goals and 26 points in 81 games, making him the target of the Blue Seats game in and game out for years to come.




Since: Dec 27, 2007
Posted on: July 2, 2011 1:43 pm
 

Brad Richards settles on signing with Rangers

The biggest free agent is heading to the biggest market.

The front-runners all along, the New York won the race to sign former Dallas center . Darren Dreger of TSN is for nine years and $60 million, an average hit of $6.67 million.

Richards spent the opening day of free agency entertaining team presentations in his agent's office in Mississauga, Ontario. There he hosted the Rangers, Toronto (sans Brian Burke), L.A. , Tampa Bay and Calgary . It was expected Richards would make his decision late Friday but instead elected to sleep on it before deciding on the Rangers.

For months it had been assumed the Rangers would be the ultimate winner of the Richards sweepstakes. The Blueshirts needed a top-line center, had the money to spend and Richards had said he wanted to play in a big market where hockey matters. Seems to be a natural fit. But it didn't stay that easy.

The Leafs, Kings and Lightning were not surprise suitors at all. And if any other teams were to be in the mix, it was assumed it would the in Buffalo and maybe even the in Philly. Instead, the underdog came in the form of the Flames, who gave Richards a lot to think about.

morning that the Flames actually offered more money than the Rangers, giving an offer at the same length but for $65 million total. In the end, Richards took less money to head to New York.

The Kings also came to the table with an aggressive offer, trying to give L.A. perhaps the best collection of centers in the NHL with and already on the roster.

"We have a lot of respect for Brad and Pat Morris and the way they handled this," Kings President & CEO Tim Leiweke on losing Brad Richards. "We understood his desire to play out East and did the best we could to overcome that. We wish him the best. Dean [Lombardi] and his team did a great job. We are focused on other options and are certain this team is going to be very good next year."

His contract isn't as high as I anticipated it might go. Considering some of the contracts that were flying around yesterday in the free-agent frenzy, it was reasonable to assume he would see a number around the $70 million-$75 million range. Instead, the Rangers get him at an average cap hit of $6.67 million -- still a lot, but a reasonable price for a player that had 77 points in 72 games last season. The Rangers could have done worse.

Now, the Rangers still have around $15 million under the salary cap ceiling, , which should be enough room to sign restricted free agents , , and .

 

Great move by the Rangers!  Yeah, it's a risk for a guy his age and coming off a concussion. Yeah, it's a long deal and those haven't been so good for the Blue Shirts of late. However, it's only 6.7 million a year to the cap and they're getting not only a proven goal scorer, but a gritty player who has played for Torts and won a cup. That's huge.

The Rangers now have 2 proven goal scorers and if Gaborik reverts back to form and the Rangers re-sign their solid young offensive guns(Callahan, Dubinsky, Boyle and Asiminov), they'll be a much deeper offensive team. They already have a good young defense that will only improve as Del Zotto learns the ropes and have a top 3 goalie who led the NHL in SHO's, yet somehow didn't make it to the Vezina vote. Their coach did a solid job last year and has a SC Ring as well. They should be a legit contender in the East and could be the Boston of 2011-2012.

The Rangers still have 15 million to spend and besides signing the 4 youngsters, could add a Tomas Kaberle to man the point. It should be an interesting season battling Philly and Pittsburgh in the East.

Let's Go Rangers!


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