Brad Richards A Ranger
The one and pretty much only premier free agent, Brad Richards, formerly of the Dallas Stars has signed a 9 year, $60 million dollar deal with the New York Rangers.
The way the deal works out is, $12 mil in the first two years, $9.5 mil in year three, $8.5 mil in both years four and five, $7 mil in year six, and the final three years at $1 mil, with a $10 million dollar signing bonus for the first year, plus the two mil and in the second year a $8 mil dollar bonus with the four mil. Confusing yes, but that’s how those front-loaded deals work these days. The LA Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs and Calgary Flames were the other teams believed to be the other teams interested in the center.
With this the New York Rangers finally got a legitimate first line center to play with winger Marion Gaborik, and Richards reunites with his former coach in Tampa Bay John Tortorella, and former winger and line-mate Ruslan Fedotenko.
If you ask me, I think since day one that the New York Rangers were really the only options. Two other teams that were interested before July 1st, the Buffalo Sabres and Detroit Red Wings, didn’t even show up in Mississauga to try to woo Richards to there teams. Richards supposedly took a pay cut from the Calgary Flames, who offered 9 years, somewhere around $65 mil.
How much better are the Rangers today? They really needed a top line center. Dubinsky is very good, but him on the second line with Callahan better suits him. Marion Gaborik probably is the biggest winner today. He’s never played with a center with this kind of playmaking skills. If Gaborik is healthy, and gels with Richards, Gaborik can easily go back to his 40-50 goal season. With this I think the Rangers will finish around the 5th spot in the Eastern Conference. But who knows with the Rangers, usually there spending doesn’t work too well, Richards should be the exception though. A consistent near point per game player, he is better than the usual career year signings that they usually do.