Tag:Brad Richards
Posted on: July 5, 2011 11:30 am
Edited on: July 5, 2011 11:49 am
 

Daily Skate: Burke not too pleased with criticism

BURKE BURN: If you happened to catch the free-agency coverage on TSN (Versus was carrying the stream) you probably noticed Toronto Sun columnist Steve Simmons more or less lambasting Maple Leafs GM Brian Burke for not being present on the opening day of free agency, which included the team's meeting with Brad Richards. Instead, he was spending Canada Day with troops in Afghanistan. Burke, who had plenty of communications with everybody back in Canada via cell phone and Skype, is offended by the criticism, saying he would do it again. The National Post has the whole story.

RICHARDS OR POORER? Since Brad Richards elected to sign with the Rangers, it's been a lot of euphoria in Blueshirt land as they finally got a top-line center they hope can give them close to the production that messiah Messier once did. But it's not all rainbows and sunshine. Blueshirt Banter reins in the party on Broadway a bit by looking at the downsides to Richards, going deep into the world of statistics to do so.

COLE AS GOOD AS GOLD: As you might have gathered by now, this was not a deep free-agent class by any means, so it was tough for teams to fill their needs. But Montreal Canadiens blog Lions in Winter thinks the team did a fantastic job of taking care of its principle need: a top-six power forward. Outside of the pipedream of signing Richards, the conclusion is that Erik Cole was about the best fit they could find.

HEAT-ING UP? Dany Heatley had 26 goals and 38 assists for the San Jose Sharks last season. For most players in the league, those are great numbers. For a guy that has shown he can score 50 goals in a season? A little lackluster. So he gets a fresh start in Minnesota, a team that will be looking for every ounce of scoring it can find. Michael Russo of the Minneapolis Star Tribune takes a look at the new partnership between the two and how they all hope it brings a return to form for Heatley.

TORRES' TREK: Raffi Torres is the son of a Mexican father and Peruvian mother who hails from Canada and has red hair. All make for one interesting player ... and determined. Torres, who just signed with the Phoenix Coyotes, gained that proverbial chip on his shoulder growing up facing the prejudices of playing hockey as a Latino. The Arizona Republic explains.

By Brian Stubits

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.


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

Click here for more free-agency updates.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: June 29, 2011 6:23 pm
Edited on: June 30, 2011 2:36 pm
 

Free agency: Richards cream of offensive crop

You ever see a fish feeding frenzy? When the fish basically jump on top of each other to get the food first? That's what free agency will look like because of the dearth of big fish to be found, to mix our metaphors.

There is no doubt who the most coveted free agent is this season. Brad Richards tops all names up for grabs and pretty much every team is likely to show some interest in signing the former Stars center.

NHL Free Agency

Richard expects to be a busy man come Friday, according to his agent, Pat Morris, who spoke to Buffalo radio station WGR 550 on Wednesday.

"If five teams call, I'd be shocked by the limited number. If 25 teams called, I wouldn't be shocked," Morris said.

Perhaps the first ring will come from the Rangers, who seem to be the team most coveting Richards. They would love to find a center who can score to anchor the first line with Marian Gaborik. Just a reminder, though: veteran newcomers don't always work out so well for the Blueshirts, just think of Scott Gomez and Chris Drury.

If Rangers GM Glen Sather isn't first to get in touch with Richards, then it could very well be Brian Burke and Toronto. The Leafs are hungry to get back to the playoffs after a lengthy drought by the organization's standards (six seasons). Richards grew up a Leafs fan, so that has helped drive speculation in Ontario. But honestly a massive chunk of the NHL players grew up Maple Leafs fans, so that means next to nothing.

His former team in Tampa Bay, the Sabres in Buffalo, and even the Flyers are potential suitors, too.

Frankly, any team that has enough room to sign Richards will probably be standing with food in hand, hoping to get the hook, line and sinker on the best player to be had.

Here are this year's best forward options (in alphabetical order).

Sean Bergenheim -- Lightning: Before the postseason, Bergenheim would have likely re-signed quietly with the Lightning after a modest 14-goal, 15-assist season. But he busted out in a big way during the playoffs, scoring nine goals in 16 games. Since then he has turned down an offer from Tampa Bay with GM Steve Yzerman commenting that the two sides obviously see Bergenheim's value a little differently. At this point it looks like he'll be playing elsewhere.


Erik Cole -- Hurricanes: Cole has been a near lifer in Carolina, spending all but a part of his nine seasons in the red of the 'Canes (he was sent to Edmonton and then promptly reacquired by Carolina). He enters free agency coming off a 26-goal, 26-assist campaign, more than attractive numbers. Carolina GM Jim Rutherford would still like to re-sign Cole and keep him around longer, but at this point they haven't been able to find common ground. Carolina is still the odds-on favorite, though.


Simon Gagne -- Lightning: Gagne is coming off a 17-goal, 23-assist season in Tampa Bay, his first with the Lightning. It wasn't long ago that Gagne was a 40-goal scorer for the Flyers, last hitting that mark in 2006-07. It isn't as if he's too old to still flash that form at 31, but the concern might be in the injury department, specifically concussion concerns. Could be worth a shot from a team looking for scoring on the wings.


Jussi Jokinen -- Hurricanes: Another player Rutherford has said he's not sure if he'll be able to re-sign but wants to, Jokinen should draw a good amount of interest if Carolina can't lock him up. The last two seasons for the 'Canes he has surpassed 50 points, highlighted by a 30-goal, 35-assist campaign in 2009-10. (June 30: Re-signed with Hurricanes for three years, $9 million)


Ville Leino -- Flyers: The 27-year-old Fin is coming off his best season in the NHL, scoring 19 goals with 34 assists on the heels of his 21-point postseason when the Flyers went to the Cup Finals. There is no question the Flyers would like to have him back, but it's a matter of if they can have him back. The Flyers are still reportedly eyeing RFA Steven Stamkos, so Leino could be left in the lurch and snagged by another team while Philly chases that option.


Richards -- Stars: Richards is a true No. 1 center. Last season in 72 games for the Stars he tallied 77 points on 28 goals and 49 assists. The mystery isn't who will be interested in Richards, it's who will Richards be interested in? He will likely have his pick of the litter, from his old stomping grounds in Tampa to New York or Chicago.


Michael Ryder -- Bruins: The 31-year-old Ryder hasn't made the best impression in the world in either Montreal or Boston, the two stomping grounds in his career. However, the guy has scoring ability, hitting the 25-goal plateau in four of his seven NHL seasons, including 38 as a rookie.



Maxime Talbot -- Penguins: Talbot isn't the highest-scoring center you'll find (just eight goals and 13 assists last season) but he has earned a reputation as a postseason performer, which never hurts. The Maple Leafs have shown interest in Talbot since it became clear he wouldn't be returning to Pittsburgh and seem the most likely destination at this point.


Scottie Upshall -- Blue Jackets: Smack dab in the middle of his prime at 27, Upshall has plenty of talent to draw interest. He hasn't found the perfect spot for himself in either Columbus or any of the spots before. But each of the past four seasons has seen his goal total rise, hitting 22 last season for the Jackets. Once concern is that last season was the first time he played 75 games (he played all 82).


Others of interest: Jason Arnott (WAS), Tomas Fleischmann (COL), Radim Vrbata (PHO), Joel Ward (NSH), Marcel Goc (NSH), Raffi Torres (VAN), John Madden (MIN), Andrew Brunette (MIN), Tim Connolly (BUF)

By Brian Stubits

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: June 23, 2011 6:22 pm
Edited on: June 23, 2011 6:33 pm
 

Brad Richards not being traded, will become UFA

Brad Richards will become an unrestricted free agent after all.

Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk made it no secret that he was looking to trade Richards' rights to somebody hoping to sign the top free-agent center after it was clear Richards wouldn't be returning to Dallas. But on Thursday he told Mike Heika of the Dallas Morning News that Richards won't waive his no-trade clause and thus will hit the open market on July 1.

"It's disappointing, but you move forward and work on the next issue," Nieuwendyk told Heika.

It was announced a few weeks back that Richards' time in Dallas was done as the uncertain ownership situation was unsettling to him. Considering he had a no-trade clause, it's not surprising that Richards elected to go the route of full-on free agent and take the right to pick his destination of choice. It's just that the Stars were hoping to get something in return for Richards.

So get ready for the Richards sweepstakes, because they figure to be the busiest of the offseason. Fans of the Rangers have been salivating at the opportunity to put Richards in blue, but his former team in Tampa Bay as well as Toronto figure to be in the thick of things, too. Up until today, the Kings were also believed to be coveting Richards, but they landed another center named Richards, Mike from Philadelphia, and that need was taken care of.

-- Brian Stubits

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl on Twitter or @BrianStubitsNHL


Posted on: June 8, 2011 3:25 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 1:38 pm
 

Richards: 'I'd definitely be interested' in Tampa

This much we know: Brad Richards will not be back in Dallas next season. Now we know this as well: Richards would be interested in returning to the Lightning, his former team.

That's because he told the Tampa Tribune as much.

"I don't know what they're thinking as an organization," Richards said. "If they're going to talk to me, I'd definitely be interested.

"I can't speak for them and what they want to do in the offseason. There are rumors, but what do they really mean? At the end of the day, it's what they say if you get the chance to sit down with them."

Of course, Richards played his first 6 1/2 seasons in the NHL with the Lightning, winning a Stanley Cup with the team in 2004. Richards took home the Conn Smythe Trophy for his work in the postseason that year. He was traded just before the deadline in the 2007-08 season to Dallas.

"I certainly wasn't looking to leave at that time -- and I don't think it ever had to happen the way it did -- but I enjoyed Dallas," Richards said.

Richards just played out the final year of his contract that he signed with the Bolts in 2006 and Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk said last week they wouldn't re-sign him and were interested in trading his negotiating rights.

It's interesting to note that Richards, who still trains in the Tampa Bay area, was back in town and attended a playoff game at St. Pete Times Forum. He hasn't quite distanced himself from the Lightning yet. Just check out this line:

"If you get the right owner, a general manager like Steve Yzerman, people who know how to do things, it's great. I think we just needed the right kind of owner to come in here. Um, maybe I shouldn't say 'we,' right?"

There will surely be other suitors begging for a chance to sign Richards. But if they can make the numbers work in Tampa, it seems like Richards has a favorite in mind.

-- Brian Stubits

Posted on: June 3, 2011 12:58 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 1:17 pm
 

Stars won't re-sign Richards, look to deal rights

Brad Richards, perhaps the best available player on what is a down unrestricted free-agent market, will not return to Dallas next season. That much we know at this point.

Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said Thursday that the team is interested in trading the negotiating rights of Richards before the open season on free agents begins on July 1. Dallas is currently in the process of changing ownership groups, and Richards -- who went through the same thing in Tampa Bay -- isn't interested in sticking it out to wait for the new owners.

"We have had talks with Brad throughout the year, and he's not going to sign with us unless we have the ownership situation resolved, and it doesn’t look like that's going to happen by the start of free agency," Nieuwendyk said. "So while we could have discussions, it just doesn't make much sense right now. So we would like to see if we could get something for his rights and allow another team to have a chance to sign him, but a lot of that is up to Brad and his agent."

What's up to the agent is a full no-trade clause that Richards possesses. Naturally the Stars would like to get something in return for some team getting the exclusive rights for a few weeks. Courtesy of the Dallas Morning News:

"Accepting a move to another team creates an obligation, and you have to be pretty sure about that obligation. I think Brad has to do what's best for himself and keep his options open," Richards' agent Pat Morris said.

There were plenty of rumors around the trade deadline surrounding Richards, but obviously the Stars didn't find any to their liking. They also tried to give the centerman an extension a few months ago.

"We felt we made a very fair and honest effort to sign Brad before the trade deadline, but the ownership situation is a real sticking point, and so we have to deal with that," Nieuwendyk said.

Richards, a nine-year veteran, led Dallas this season in points with 77 that included 28 goals -- a career high -- and 49 assists.

Among the teams that will likely be interested in acquiring Richards will be the New York Rangers. If they aren't able to convince Richards to waive his control, then they will probably be waiting on July 1. The return value to Dallas wouldn't have to be much -- again, it is just looking for something -- but it's worth noting the Rangers do not have any second-round picks in this month's draft after this week's acquisition of Tim Erixon in a trade with the Flames.

His former team in Tampa could show some interest in bringing him back, too.

-- Brian Stubits

Photo: US Presswire

Posted on: March 9, 2011 4:41 pm
Edited on: March 9, 2011 6:01 pm
 

Playoff Watch: Flames aim for Stars sweep



Calgary Flames (35-24-9) at Dallas Stars (36-23-7)


American Airlines Center, 9 pm ET

SEASON SERIES: Calgary 3-0-0; Dallas 0-2-1

IMPLICATIONS: Three teams -- Dallas, Phoenix and Calgary -- enter tied with 79 points in the tight Western Conference Standings. Either Calgary or Dallas will sit alone in fifth place since Phoenix is idle or, if Chicago loses to Tampa Bay, the winner of this contest would move to fourth. For our playoff tracker, click here

BREAKDOWN: The Flames won the first three meetings by a combined score of 14-8. But Calgary will be without Brendan Morrison, the center who scored the game-winner in a 7-4 win over the Stars on Jan. 21, for the rest of the regular season with a knee injury. (Morrison told reporters Tuesday that he hopes to be back for the playoffs.) Meanwhile, the Stars will get center Brad Richards -- out with concussion-like symptoms since Feb. 13 -- back for tonight’s contest. 

MATCHUP TO WATCH: Calgary RW Jarome Iginla vs. Dallas LW Jamie Benn. Iginla, who became the 10th player to score 30 or more goals for 10 consecutive seasons earlier this week, enters on a four-game goal streak. Benn also enters the same goal streak, the longest of his young career, and has two assists this season against the Flames. 

KEY STAT: 13. The number of goals Mike Ribeiro has scored when the Stars were trailing by a goal or tied. 

Photo: Getty Images
Posted on: March 1, 2011 3:23 am
Edited on: March 1, 2011 3:38 am
 

Morning faceoff 3-1-11: Deadline afterglow

The unbridled fervor that was the 2011 trading deadline -- maybe we’re overstating that a bit -- is over. There were 35 players moved via 16 trades on Monday, sort of a letdown that some of us saw coming since so much movement occurred several days earlier. As our CBSSpors.com hockey writer Wes Goldstein points out, there were 21 deals involving 43 players and 17 draft picks in the first 27 days of February -- the most active month since the lockout.

But here’s a rundown of Monday’s transactions

PENNER BACK TO SOCAL:  The major deal of the day saw Dustin Penner, who came up the ranks with the Anaheim Ducks and helped lead them to a title in 2007, move from the Edmonton Oilers to the Los Angeles Kings. The Oilers, in turn, received minor league defenseman Colten Teubert, a first-round pick this summer and a conditional third-round pick in 2012, which could become a second-round selection if the Kings break through and win their first Stanley Cup in team history. As Helene Elliott of the Los Angeles Times reports, the deal came to pass after the Kings were told Dallas Stars center Brad Richards was not available. The upside on Penner is that he has a year left on his deal, meaning he’s not your average rental.

CAPS MAKES MOVES, BUT NOT IN NET: The Washington Capitals made two separate trades before the deadline, dealing for defenseman Dennis Wideman (Florida Panthers) and center Jason Arnott (New Jeresey Devils.) But GM George McPhee didn’t add a veteran goalie. It was another indication that the club is happy to go with their oft-injured young duo Semyon Varlamov and Michal Neuvirth. This stance didn’t sit too well with columnist/author John Feinstein in December and while Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom are each plodding through a horrid season in the scoring column, goaltending tends to be the Achilles for so many teams come playoff time. (Including controversies in net for the Caps the last two postseasons.) McPhee also told reporters that defenseman Mike Green would be out “a couple of weeks and maybe a little longer.”

FOX, TURNER IN FRAY:  FOX and Turner are apparently checking out the possibility of bidding for the NHL television rights package, The Sports Business Journal reports this week. (Second item here.) That would make four networks -- including current rightsholder Comcast (NBC/Versus) and ESPN -- in the hunt for the league’s domestic TV rights, which are set to expire at season’s end. FOX could potentially put the NHL on its FX cable channel, while Turner may bring games to truTV, the channel formerly known as Court TV. 

OH YEAH, THERE WERE GAMES: The Chicago Blackhawks, looking to avoid becoming only the second team over the last 70 years to win the Stanley Cup only to miss the playoff the following season, won their fifth consecutive game with a 4-2 decision over the Minnesota Wild on Monday. The win moves the ‘Hawks up to fifth place in the tight Western Conference standings, where fourth-place (Phoenix Coyotes) and 11th-place (Anaheim Ducks) are separated by just five points entering play Tuesday. Monday’s action also featured goalie Jimmy Howard, who signed a two-year extension with Detroit Red Wings on Monday. The first four goals scored in the game went into his net, but Drew Miller scored twice as the Wings tallied seven unanswered goals for a 7-4 win. Penner didn't make it in time for the game, but is expected to join the team in L.A. on Tuesday. 


 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com