Trade for Brad Richards’ rights? Yeah, right

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I’m going on the record saying I wouldn’t give up jack for Brad Richards’ rights. I’m not even 100 percent sure the Rangers should pursue him at the cost he will command, but that’s another pros-cons checklist for another day, coming soon.

I would definitely not give up anything of value — a player, a prospect or draft picks — just for the negotiating rights. Not when he can be had for nothing but MSG dollars on July 1. Now, if you’re telling me Dallas will take a player/prospect that the Rangers have no intention of keeping this summer, well, maybe that’s different.

I know, there are reasons to get ahead of the curve. But at this point Brad Richards knows darn well the Rangers are interested, if that’s even a strong enough word, unless he’s a moron. And he’s not.

So, if Richards wants to be a Ranger, then all he has to do is wait for July 1. And if I’m the Rangers’ brass (thank God I’m not, especially in this case), I want to wait until July 1 to see if Richards really wants to be here, or if he’s going to extract every year, every no-move clause, and every last nickel out of teams who will bid for him. Because if he wants extra years and extra nickels, I don’t think the Rangers should even be in this chase. And, again, if I’m the Rangers, I want to know if he wants to be here, and why, and I want to know that the answer isn’t for the last nickel.

Mostly, if I’m the Rangers, why am I weakening my organization by giving up an asset now? That I don’t get.

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274 Comments

  1. right, but if he’s had for moveable parts that aren’t going to be here anyway there’s no real loss (maybe wolski, christensen, mccabe, gilroy, etc). look, we’re not going to move artie or someone from the core for brad’s rights and i’m not suggesting that any of the above mentioned players are enough to get it done either but if it happens it’ll be someone who isn’t in the long term plans.

    carp, i don’t understand how you can think the rangers don’t need him. there’s no center on the current roster or in the pipeline that has anywhere near his talent level.

    this team needs that top center to take pressure off others. they need that offensive edge/boost.

    while i agree with you, if he wants to be a ranger it might not make the most sense to trade for his rights before july 1 but the rangers absolutely need him.

    this team can go from pretenders to contenders real quick with richards and a top lw.

    richards or bust this offseason. whether you’re with me or not.

  2. I do not want Richards at all, unless he is prepared to take 4 years or less. The Rangers need to take guys like Grachev, Del Zotto and package them and get someone like Stastny, who can become part of the core of this team.

    I have no idea which young and established top line players are available but that is what the Rangers should be looking for instead of throwing money at a player who will never live up to his contract…

  3. Noah-Rangers, 28 on

    When I hear about trading for someone’s rights, I think of Higgins.

    /shudders

    //screams when realizing he’s playing in the Cup Finals

  4. Carped!!

    The Whale will be fresh with young prospects next year like Ryan Bourque, Dylan McIlrath, and Carl Hagelin, I definitely will try to catch some games live. Career minor-leaguers like Dupont and Bickel will probably be gone?

    Did you guys hear that Lindberg is actually Erixon?s cousin? That is funny!

  5. I don’t think Grachev will return much. I’m not sure if MDZ is what Colorado would want either, they have a puck mover in Liles. Given how bad they were on defense last year, even with Erik Johnson on the blueline they’d probably want another solid stay at home guy.

  6. Carp, I never wanted Richards because of the money he will command.

    But, didn’t you always refer to him as “future-Ranger Brad Richards”? I thought it was already decided that he will be a Ranger ;)

  7. ONECUPIN72YEARSAND COUNTING on

    Its not like the rangers are a player away from a cup run, they need several pieces..

  8. McIlrath (and Thomas for that matter) cannot be sent to HFD. They have to be on the Rangers or back in juniors. I think its a 99% chance that both will be sent back to juniors…

  9. nyrcc, I didn’t say the Rangers don’t need him. I just don’t think they should go and get him at any price, especially with the concussion issues that would scare the holy hell out of me. I will do my pros and cons in the next week. But I had the same feelings about Kovalchuk last year. I thought he would be a big help to the Rangers (duh) but that there was a cost at which he didn’t make sense. And Richards aint in that category of player.

    NYR, I still do refer to him as future Ranger Brad Richards, only because the Rangers always lock onto their man and spend whatever the hell it takes to get him. I referred to Future Rangers Chris Drury and Scott Gomez the same way. How’d that work out?

    I’m not ready to call Grachev a bust yet, either.

    Good morning, Sally!

  10. Haha! Yeah, I know Manny. I have to step my game up…kind of like Michael Del Zotto….

  11. Grachev may turn it around, but his stock has plummeted. If we’re talking about trade value, his has been dinged pretty severely.

  12. I don’t know how I feel about Richards. If they don’t go out and get some top-line firepower to complement Gabby, we’ll be getting more 8th place finishes and first round exits until the kids mature. I’ve read all season that Richards will be looking for huge money and many years. If that’s the case – wait to see what next year’s free agent pool looks like.

    Personally, I think Brooks Laich, who’s a free agent this year, is a better fit for this Ranger team than Richards. They’d have to break the bank to lure him away from the Caps, but that is one gritty dude who hovers around 30 goals every year.

  13. Is his brain scrambled or what? Don’t need another Pat LaFontaine. Or Lindros.

  14. Laich has had one season (playing on a Caps team that ran away with the team goal scoring title) where he’s scored even 25 goals. He is a solid player, blood and guts type guy but at best he’s a lateral move for the Rangers and there’s a strong possibility that he gets his points inflated by playing with Ovie and Semin.

  15. the problem with Laich is that there is no chance he would put up those numbers in a Rangers sweater. The question is how much money and years will you give a 40-45 point player in this years extremely weak FA class.

    I would 100% be in favor of throwing an offer sheet at Stamkos for 7.8 mil for 8-12 years and give up two firsts, a second and a third. TB would surely match that though…

  16. iDoodie machetto on

    Carp, I’m with you on Richards. Btw, if Richards is planning on testing the market, isn’t in his interest to wait until July 1? Can’t he just shop around whatever offer he gets from a team that trades for his rights?

    5 years, 25 million. No additional movement/trade clauses.

    He’s going to get more than that, but I don’t want to be the one that gives it to him.

  17. Richards will be looking for at least 7 years, $ 50++ M contract. Deadly for our team.

  18. iDoodie machetto on

    Oleo, the trick is to front load the bejesus out of the deal. Make them pay 12 million a year for the first two years. I don’t think Tampa can monetarily afford that.

  19. Doodie- the number I had in mind is similar. 5 year, around $27M, front loaded as much as CBA allows, so it’s possible to buy out. He will not sign anywhere without NMC, bet you.

  20. iDoodie machetto on

    Then I don’t want him. He’s got a lot of miles on the odometer, is coming off a concussion, and we have a good young core that will cost money to retain beyond his contract.

  21. Offer sheets aren’t the way to go. Thinking Stamkos’ offer isn’t going to be matched is unrealistic. Tampa will free $5M from Gagne’s contract, and they are well below the cap.

  22. iDoodie machetto on

    Tampa isn’t a cap team. They are a budget team. Throw enough real dollars at Stamkos and you might have a chance. we know that Tampa should match, but they might make a business decision and say that they can’t afford to pay him 12 million bucks for two or three years.

  23. ilb2001

    you would think they would match but ya never know. Parise is probably more likely but Lou will find away to keep him. Still considering they lowered the compensation across the board, i think we will see more of them now.

  24. iDoodie machetto on

    Who wants lecavalier’s awful contract? Not to mention he has a NTC.

    Let Tampa match. What’s the harm in offering?

  25. i’d trade gilroy for the rights of Richards.. this way you can bring him in, run tests to see his medical level, and get a chance to sign him before anyone else… let gilroy walk, he’s been a disappointment the last 2 years and we have enough d-men.

  26. iDoodie machetto on

    Crazy, why would Dallas want Gilroy’s rights? He isn’t worth his 2.1 qualifying offer.

    And they can get Richards’ rights but he doesn’t have to submit himself to a medical. He can just wait for July 1 and shop himself around.

  27. if Richards waives his rights to the NYR, i dont think he would refuse a medical…

  28. iDoodie machetto on

    I suppose they could if they just completely gutted their defense. But seeing as how that was a weak spot for them, I don’t think they would be eager too. Plus it would be difficult to resign rfas subban and price next summer

  29. His cap hit is $7.73M, while he is being paid $10M. Markov and Hamrlik (bot UFAs) account for $11.3M. Sure they can

  30. i agree that Stamkos isn’t going anywhere but other than DiPietro, Lecavalier has the most immovable contract in the NHL. 9 more years at 7.27 mil (5 of which are at 10 mil a year).

  31. It looks like their D would be built around Subban, Gorges, Gill and Spacek. Maybe they go after Pitkanen or Bieska.

  32. Manny,

    You’re not the only one, but he’s probably the oddman out. Personally, I think he’s got a relatively low ceiling in comparison to the rest of the D in the system. The blueline next year looks to be Staal-Giardi, McD-Sauer, MDZ-Erixon. Of course MDZ and Erixon are works in progress, but I’d imagine that since they’re already under contract that gives them a leg up on the depth chart.

  33. Manny 4 Fingers on

    I understand that theory. I know he has a big hit (2.1M?). I just think trying him out as a winger could be a good experiment and he would be a good defensive forward that way. We could use that. Somebody strong on the blue line.

  34. iDoodie machetto on

    Right, and that eats up some of the Markov/Hamrlik money. Not to mention they have to resign koystitsen and pacioretty. And next year subban and price.

    Just adding almost 8 million in salary is difficult when your team already has several inflated contracts (gomez, gionta, cammaleri, lesser extent plekanec). They simply can’t afford another high price forward.

    Look, I know Tampa would match without thinking about it, but why not at least kick the tires? What do we have to lose?

  35. iDoodie machetto on

    I thought gilroy was excellent down the stretch and into the playoffs. Personally, I like the idea of having competition for a lineup spot. 2 years, 1.1 million per.

  36. ilb, yeah? name one.

    I think Gilroy is a post-July 1 decision. They’d like to have him back, but the question is for how much, and how much they have left over after signing their other FAs?

  37. Especially with Yzerman at the helm and their success in the playoffs this year, Tampa will match virtually any offer sheet

  38. It would behoove Yzerman to throw him a deal that keeps him in Tampa for the better part of the next decade.

  39. iDoodie machetto on

    Different question: would you offer a four first rounder offer sheet? Like a kovalchukian size contract and the four first rounders that would go with it? Personally, I wouldn’t.

  40. iDoodie machetto on

    And it isn’t the dollars that bother me, it’s the extra two first rounders. four years without a first round pick is a long time.

  41. the problem is he is not an offensive defenseman and he doesn’t fit on this team anymore. With Del Zotto as the 3rd pair LD, the Rangers need a stay at home guy, not someone who is going to pinch in also.

  42. iDoodie machetto on

    Oleo, you are assuming MDZ becomes that guy. What if he doesn’t? Or what if he, or anybody else for that matter, gets injured. What if Erixon isn’t up to the hype?

    Nothing is set in stone when it comes to the third pair.

  43. the thing about gilroy compared to the other d-men in the system is that hes already 26, what you see is what you get, AT BEST a 5th/6th dmen, we have better and need to let him go

  44. Don’t qualifying offers have to be extended before 1 July though, Carp?

    So unless the Rangers can agree a lower cost deal for Gilroy before then, he’ll be a UFA.

    I don’t think an offer sheet for an *elite* player has any hope of success either, but why not put a conference rival at a disadvantage by trying to dictate the terms they have to sign the player too, like Larry Brooks has suggested in the past?

    (Answering my own rhetorical question: Because all the GMs are too scared of upsetting each other…)

  45. Crazy,

    I’ve argued using that point before. I think a lot of people like the story behind Gilroy (local guy, undrafted FA, walk on at BU, wears 97 because of his brother) and he does have some decent raw skill, but I agree that his upside is probably more limited in comparison to guys that 5 to 6 years younger.

  46. (Answering my own rhetorical question: Because all the GMs are too scared of upsetting each other…)

    ***

    Is that why Kevin Lowe isn’t the Oilers GM anymore?

  47. Del Zotto had 9 goals and 28 assists as a 19 year old. Its safe to say he’s already proven he can be that offensive guy.

  48. BTW …….
    1 month – 4 weeks – 30 days – 720 hours – 43,200 minutes – 2,592,000 seconds = NO SMOKES FOR ME.
    But my pants don’t fit – good thing I don’t need them in AZ

  49. Redden is on the cap for the summer. Basically he takes up the 10% extra allowance.

  50. Redden has basically said, if the Rangers don’t want him and he can get a guaranteed contract from somebody he will walk away from his contract.

    Redden is certainly good enough to be a top 6 defenseman for almost any team in the league so expect him to be gone…

  51. iDoodie machetto on

    Oleo, last season he couldnt even hold down his roster spot.

    Cccp, I actually am working right now. Im in an inspection session, which is when a lawyer comes to my office to look at files he wants for copying. I just have to sit here and babysit him. Since I dont have a laptop at work, I use my iPhone. Hence, iDoodie

  52. iDoodie machetto on

    Tony, just everytime you crave a smoke, do a pushup. It’ll help fight the weight gain. obey you end up doing 60 a day.

  53. Wicky (Going with the 18" tires on this thing) on

    I would trade OPG for Richards rights in a second (have to clear that roster spot for bieksa right?).

    Cccp
    I’m at work as we type.

    It would be awesome to see laich as a ranger, but not as a substitute for Richards.

  54. Del Zotto is 20, give the kid a break. He proved at 19, he can play in this league. Will be good at 21? i can’t answer that but he will 100% have a good career in the NHL.

  55. and I still am, but not b/c I think he is no good but b/c we have a surplus of defensive prospects and a top line center is so much more important.

  56. iDoodie machetto on

    No, I’m in office. D&I session. I’m just babysitting opposing counsel. Easiest billing ever.

    Oleo, I’m not saying MDZ doesn’t have a future. I’m just saying we shouldn’t be so quick to pencil him in as a definite roster player. Doing so once has already potentially cost the organization (depending on how Fowler/McIlrath plays out). It would be wise to avoid that potential error again.

  57. del zotto needs an attitude adjustment. every hour of the day hes tweeting crap. today is on nhl home ice xm 92 hosting power play show from 4-6pm.

    the kid mind is all over the place. focus on getting better and having a pro menatlity. hes 20 and is so immature. hit the gym and stop the tweeting every minute MDZ.

    WAIT FOR 2012

    semin sharp burns suter. NO RICHARDS 5 YEARS 38 MIL by year 4 and 5 it will drury all over again

  58. I wish MDZ could have been up when McCabe was playing (although not as good as expected) but it could have been a great learning experience for him

  59. I’ve posted many times on this blog!! NO TO SIGNING BRAD RICHARDS, ENOUGH OF THIS NONSENSE!!! I’ve had enough of big contracts taking up the cap space. Continue to build the team through the system and use that money to sign players from your organization. Anybody who wants to trade for Richards is even a bigger idiot than Sather.

  60. Semin = Kovalev

    Richards doesn’t = Drury

    Richards is an ELITE play-maker… Drury is slightly above avarage role player… big difference.

  61. yea Semin would be a monster disaster. First you have to take away all the points he picks up riding shotgun to Ovechkin and all the other talent he wont have in NY.

    you guys think Gaborik is bad, Semin would be hearing the boos in year one…

  62. TOMG: if we dont sign Richards we dont have a #1 centre… whats the point of playing if we cant win… and no Artie, Dubi or Boyle, Christinson are not good enough, look at the teams that made it in the playoffs, without a #1 centre we are no different then last season…

  63. People who don’t see that we have no one even remotely close to the talent level of Richards in our system, and probably will not have in a near or a distant future, (since unfortunately we don’t suck enough to draft top talent) unless we trade or sign via free agency, are even more idiotic than those who want to trade for Richards and are definitely dumber than Sather.

    (-;

  64. CCCP

    but what happens 4 years from now when he’s only getting us 50-60 points and has another 2-3 years left on his deal???

  65. you cant stack a team with 3rd and 4th line players, and add Gabby and then blame him as to why youre not winning. Adding Richards will help complete Gabby and create a true #1 line… look at the teams that have progressed in the playoffs the last few seasons, solid down the middle, with a Centre that can actually win more faceoffs than he loses… unless we can trade for a #1 centre, Richards is the only other option

  66. oleosmirf, if hes getting 50-60 pts, thats more than everyone except for Dubi (54 pts)…. so he’d still be leading our team…

  67. Manny 4 Fingers on

    No he won’t because by then we will have Stamkos, Parise and Kesler.

  68. 50-60?! LOL!! Drury could hardly get 5 points! So anyone in Drury’s plays who could get more than FIVE points is a tremendous upgrade!

    AND, for any Ranger can get 20+ goals and 45+ assists 3-4 years from now is damn good in my book!

  69. oleo, exactly thats why we need a #1 centre for gabby, make use of him before he gets old

  70. Milan Lucic is a leading scorer on the Bruins with 62 points… you can definitely get to the final two… let’s see who wins this one.

  71. “Center is the most overrated position on the ice” – said Manny while playing with his Messeir and Gretzky plastic toys

  72. Manny 4 Fingers on

    That was a joke! My buddy uses that line whenever we argue about anything sports related…it’s always “BLANK is the most overrated BLANK in BLANK.”

  73. Good afternoon all! Carp, I am so with you!!!! That’s all I got time for today….TA!

  74. but having a 35 year old making 7.5 mil and no longer playing at a top line level is a problem…

  75. if we could get solid 4-5 years out of Richards then i think it will be a great success! But again, nobody knows what Richards will be like @ 35! At worst, he’ll still be a decent PP specialist…

    and at the end of the day, buyout is always a possibility

  76. Doodie Machetto on

    CCCP: Did anybody’s “At-worst at 35″ of Drury predict 1 goal and 4 assists?

  77. CTBlueshirt – There are three thing fans never realize about Grachev. First, that he was rushed out of juniors needlessly. Second, that his stellar final season in juniors was bolstered by his two stellar teamates, Matt Duchene and Cody Hodgson. And third, that the fan hype machine made him into something he never was. It started with a few reporters commenting on how he could be a real ‘steal’ from the third round and in the course of his final year in juniors turned into he could be ‘the real deal.’ In truth, Grachev is a huge guy who has good hands for his size, but needs to grow into his frame. He’s going to be an NHLer, I have no doubt, and if the Rangers were to dangle him, they’d get a lot of bites.

    About Laich, I totally disagree. He’s the type of guy you want on your team. Hard hitting, drives to the net and has good talent. He’d be a sick complement/center for Callahan. In fact, him Cally and Dubinsky on the same line would be something to behold. I wouldn’t pay in excess of $4 million per, but if that were his asking price, I’d sign him in a heartbeat.

  78. Carp – You’re take on Richards is 100 percent spot on. The only thing I’d trade for him is Redden. But hey, aren’t the Stars looking for defensemen?!?

  79. The bottom line, Richards is not worth the money he will demand when he becomes a free agent. I don’t think he will be the difference for the rangers to get to a cup final. Keep developing and stock piling youth and somewhere down the road make a trade or two to fill the positions in need.

  80. Doodie

    to be fair, Drury did miss a lot of time…

    Richards plays a different game… i personally think that Richards’ worst will still be better than Drury’s worst

  81. Doodie Machetto on

    tomg, I’m with you. If he’s willing to take a significant pay cut on what he could earn to come to NY, then I’d sign him up. But at what he is likely to command, it’s just too much.

  82. Doodie Machetto on

    Drury played almost a third of the season. I’ll even give him the benefit of the doubt and quadruple his numbers. 4 goals, 16 assists for a full season. Did anyone think Drury’s “At-worst at 35″ was 4 goals, 16 assists?

  83. The rangers have been down this road before and how did that work out, enough of signing big bucks to free agents that are on there down side of there careers.

  84. I only want Richards if it is no more than 5 years around 6.5-7 mill per… i did say it before! Anything above that, i do not want him! I think having Torts on our side could benefit us in contract negotiations

  85. CTBlueshirt on

    Phil,

    Media hype, fan hype, rushed development whatever the reason may be, Grachev’s stock is lower than it was 2 years ago. He can still turn it around but I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that he’s fallen down on the organizational depth chart. Why did he get passed over by Stepan and Zuccs for a spot on the NHL club when both could have spent time with the Whale? If he doesn’t start to crack the NHL line up after this season he may start to find himself passed over by the likes of Thomas and Kreider assuming they’re playing in the AHL in 12/13.

    As for Laich, what type of premium does he provide over Anisimov and Stepan? Is he fit to be a #1 center, especially without the likes of Ovechkin/Backstrom/Semin to absorb the opposing defense’s attention? He put up 50+ points twice in his career on two offensively loaded Caps teams. The Rangers need another 75+ point player, not another 50 point player.

  86. Great job Doodie – well done on game one review! And I completely agree on the page – some of the Bruins as well as the Cunucks need to show up at least –

    Carp – I think you SHOULD be the RANGERS brass!!!

  87. And This One Will Last A Lifetime on

    One Cup is right…if we were one player away….we are not ! We need several pieces….we need a Defenseman that can play the PP, maybe two (and maybe we just signed one in Erixon, and maybe we have one in MDZ, but as far as proven, we have none!)…we need one or two more goal scorers, we need a first line center to play with Gabby (yes Richards would in fact be a nice fit, but not at more than $7.0)…we need to get out from under the Drury and Wolski contracts…

    I like the idea of the youth movement, even if it means another two or three years until we are truly cup contenders. (will Thomas and Bourque be scorers at the NHL level ? I want to find out.
    will Kreider turn pro ?…when will McIlrath be NHL ready ?) Let’s continue with the youth movement and give it a chance to build something special.

  88. Manny 4 Fingers on

    Ah………………..Rangers are in better shape than the Knicks, eh?

  89. Doodie Machetto on

    Why do you want to know Tony? Looking to change the focus (no pun intended) of your photography?

  90. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The proud winner of 3 Latona lunch points!!) on

    I’ll say this about the two teams in the finals, they both have “elite” goalies and physical d men that are willing and enjoy clearing the crease. There should definitely be hope in ranger land because we have an “elite” goalie and d men that…never mind that’s the problem, that is why it dies right there, our SOFT as hell blueline!!

  91. Doodie Machetto on

    Boston tried to play matchups too much. It resulted in several bad changes, including the one that led to the GWG.

  92. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Richards has the making of the next Gaborik, Drury, Gomez, etc. Of course that would never discourage our dauntless GM. If I owned the Rangers, my GM would be ordered to stay completely out of the FA market. PERIOD! All they do is kill your cap space and clog your pipeline of organizational prospects. So that you have a glut of 26 year old “rookies.”

  93. CTBlueshirt on

    wicky,

    I’m gonna have to go with scoring 19 goals in the last 12 playoff games (1.583 goals per game) as a big reason the Rangers haven’t gone past the first round in the last 3 years.

  94. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Excellent, Doodie. Like to have more column input from you. We can never have too much in-depth perspective, and you have that to offer in spades.

  95. Doodie Machetto on

    “If I owned the Rangers, my GM would be ordered to stay completely out of the FA market. PERIOD”

    Ehhhh. That’s not entirely true. Sometimes a free agent is the missing piece.

  96. Doodie Machetto on

    Boom Boom, I catch so much flak around here that I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not. Either way, thanks!

  97. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The proud winner of 3 Latona lunch points!!) on

    CTB
    not disagreeing with that, but we haven’t had the right kind of D for quite a while to go deep into the playoffs, we have had the O at times, and it hasn’t helped. We have to address that lack of muscle and attitude back there first.

  98. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The proud winner of 3 Latona lunch points!!) on

    thanks manny!

    back to work, later assens!!

  99. Doodie Machetto on

    To follow up my my missing piece point, I don’t think we are at or near the point of worrying about the missing piece.

  100. CTBlueshirt on

    1.583 goals per game average, coupled with scoring 2 or less goals in 6 of those games, suggests we haven’t had the offense.

    Could they use some more snarl in back? Probably, but I’d put that well behind goal scoring and playmaking on the list of the Rangers needs.

  101. CTBlueshirt – What I was trying to say was that the fans’ perceived value of Grachev is the only thing that has dropped. His actually value hasn’t changed much at all, especially considering he was taken in the third round. I don’t think anyone either inside or outside the Rangers organization ever thought he was going to fly through the AHL and be the power forward the fans were saying he’d be. Keep in mind, he just turned 21. His numbers are on the rise and he had a pretty strong second half of the season. It’s tough to compare Stepan and Zucc to him because they’re such different players who have taken far different paths to the NHL. Both came to the Rangers this season more-or-less as polished players(there was/is some adjustment for Zucc). Grachev is and always has been a project. From the few times I’ve seen him in person, I can say he’s got to learn how to use his big frame(and he is an impressive specimen) to create space on the ice. It’s a shame he couldn’t spend some time with Jagr, who could probably teach him a thing or two in that regard.

    As for Laich, you’re right. He’s not going to put up huge points. But his game is exactly what the Rangers’ game was: Gritty, hard-hitting drive-to-the-net hockey. He was the one Capital that really impressed me this playoffs. You don’t sign him to be your number-one center. You sign him to be part of the system that’s here.

  102. Manny 4 Fingers on

    Wow Tony – you must go pretty easy on her. Mine get ruined in a few hours. But hey, I’m a biter. That’s why I had to get a “Real Doll.”

  103. Manny 4 Fingers on

    Puck Daddy Radio has Richards possibly going to:

    1. Make Believes;
    2. Rangers;
    3. Kings.

  104. Manny 4 Fingers on

    I will head up to 42nd street and pick up a Ginger gal Tony. Thanks for the advice.

  105. CTBlueshirt on

    Phil,

    As with any Rangers prospect I’d like for them to succeed, quickly or eventually. However there are only going to be so many roster spots available each year. If Grachev makes the leap later this year or maybe next year that would be nice, but if he doesn’t then what?

    As for Laich, again I don’t disagree about his style of play or what he brings to the table. However, the gritty, hard hitting drive to net style of play got the Rangers a grand total of one win in this year’s playoffs.

  106. Doodie Machetto on

    Some recent “missing piece” examples:

    1) Chicago signs Marian Hossa. Didn’t do much scoring during the playoffs, but was still a good defensive piece and veteran presence having been to the Final in consecutive seasons before that one.
    2) Pittsburgh signs Ruslan Fedotenko, and to a lesser extent Matt Cooke, Miro Satan, and Eric Godard.
    3) Detroit signs Brian Rafalski, who was perfect for their PP.

    I can also remember Brett Hull winning in Dallas in his first year there, after the infamous “foot in the crease” OT goal.

  107. CTBlueshirt on

    Rafalski is perfect for most PPs.

    Devils fans still mourn him. Stevens had to retire, Niedermayer wanted to play with his brother, but Rafalski is someone they should have tried to keep. Although going back home was probably a big reason for him leaving the Swamp.

  108. Doodie Machetto on

    He was particularly good for Detroit because of how deflectable his shots are and because of Holmstrom’s and/or Franzen’s presence in front of the net. He also scored 10 of his own on the PP as well. Their PP went from 21st to 3rd in one year.

    Meanwhile, New Jersey’s went from 15 to 25.

  109. I have this question for those of you comparing the four:

    Out of Richards, Gaborik, Drury, and Gomez, whom would you prefer the team sign most? Don’t say none, that isn’t the question.

  110. CTBlueshirt on

    Latona,

    Just to be clear, are we going back in time to when these guys were signed? Based on the needs for the team at that particular time?

  111. Doodie Machetto on

    Also, do we have to take the contract that they got or can we change it to something reasonable?

  112. CTBlueshirt on

    I would have gone after Rafalski instead of Gomez the year he was signed. Although I firmly believe that Rafalski was only going to Detroit.

  113. Doodie,

    Yeah, I would have signed him too. But people are comparing the possible impeding signing to those of Gomez, Drury, and Gaborik. I see them all as different scenarios.

  114. I think Gomez and Richards are not the same player and at no point in their career were. Richards may turn out to be a player similar to Gomez when coming to the Rangers, but he certainly isn’t Gomez right now, and wasn’t Gomez the year we signed him.

  115. Crazy|NYR June 3rd, 2011 at 12:18 pm
    the thing about gilroy compared to the other d-men in the system is that hes already 26, what you see is what you get, AT BEST a 5th/6th dmen, we have better and need to let him go

    crazy- rememebr last offseason gilly and dz were interviewed and gilry commented that hes still filling out?? u know he should be hittin his prime in about 5 years.

  116. CTBlueshirt on

    Hm…

    With 20/20 hindsight, Drury and Gomez did what their careers suggested they’d do in their first 2 seasons in terms of production. The problem is that their career average production wasn’t worth the money they were signed to. At the time though it looked like the Rangers could contend given how weak the East was. The Pens looked good and certainly had a bright future but I don’t know if everyone realistically expected Crosby and Malkin to dominate the way they did in those two years they made it to the finals. The Caps rise was fairly quick too.

    Gaborik was worth it his first season, maybe even worth more when you consider his supporting cast. Obviously his 2nd season was a major reason why people had reservations about signing him. Then again more durable 40 goal scorers are usually signed for more than 5 years. Still, it was painfully obvious after the 08/09 season that the Rangers needed proven top flight talent.

    Richards could potentially be coming to the team at the right time when important homegrown pieces may be hitting their stride and they have a high skilled winger in place. He fills the biggest need for the team right now.

    So out of the 4, I’d pick Richards, but I also think he’s coming into the best situation.

  117. the more i think about it doodie, he does have the potential to be the next gomez than he does at being the 60-70 point guy he is now.

  118. but richards will want too much moneyand years. after thinking about it and factoring in his concusiion, his age, it just seems like a typical sather move that were killing him for in 2-3 years. does he get us a cup?? no. very doubtful. i have officially changed my stance on this whole richards debate.

  119. bull dog line on

    I happen to think the Rangers are closer to being contenders than most people here. to me Richards is a no brainer. I think he puts them in the top 4 in the conference. you sign Richards and everybody drops down to where they belong. Stepan becomes your number 2 and so on. it also frees you up to trade a center ( Anisimov) for another need.

  120. Maybe we can get Gomez back on the cheap, via re-entry waivers? It would be a hell of a lot cheaper than Brad Richards…

    Bwahaha!!!

  121. bull dog line on

    if they fail to sign Richards, I would go hard after Jonathan Ericsson, and or, Ville Leino.

  122. Manny 4 Fingers on

    The minute we trade Artie-Partie he will gain 15 pounds and score 40.

  123. Manny, you are correct….Artie Party is a potential Monster in the making….patience is needed with him…

  124. bull dog line on

    I am not sure I would trade him either. I was just using him as an example. having said that, I think he would be the most expendable center if the Rangers were to sign Richards. Boyle fits better as a 3rd line center than Ansimov, and having him as a 4th line center does not make much sense. you could change his position, say LW.

  125. i would still like richards if he was asking for 4 year deal tops. even at his $7.5mm asking price. the thing is, like ctb menioned, een dru n gomez had their avg seasons the firs few years of their contracts, so a shorter term deal liek 4 years, when hes about 35-36 is fine. by then he wll be still good enough to put up 50 points. kinda like shanny. very good pp producer. and the debate about offense/defensebetween ctb and wicky, i gotta go with ctb good buddy!! we needscoring man. i think antropov has the most playoff goals for us since the last 3 seasons. or naslund. either one.

  126. CTBlueshirt on

    A couple of things to consider is that Richards has held up better as he’s aged compared to Gomez. His points per game have been trended better, never dropping below 0.84 since the lockout in comparison to Gomez who’s more/less declined every year since the lockout except between his last year in NJ and his first year in NY. He also shoots more, averaging at least 250 shots per 82 games where Gomez’s shots have dropped off a cliff since he went to Montreal. And while Richards has never been a sniper, he still puts up around 10 more goals a season than Gomez.

  127. Manny 4 Fingers on

    Bull Dog: You might be right. I understand why he would be movable. I just fear him leaving and going nuts for another team.

  128. CTBlueshirt on

    bull dog,

    I’ve read some compelling evidence that suggests that Stepan might eventually be turned into a winger. I’m assuming he improves on faceoffs as he develops (he really can’t get much worse), but if he doesn’t then he might get shifted over to the wing. At one time or another the Flyers have moved around Carter/Briere/Giroux from center to wing. Plus, I tend to believe it’s an easier transition for a center to play wing than vice versa.

  129. artie is gona be real goodsoon. he ddnt have the usual sophomore slump. he scored like 6-7 more goals, had around 45 points, and clicked vr well with cally n duby. yea, he isnt gonna be datsyuk, and hs not vey physical, but he has the size to get away with that. im sure he’ll be stronger and more confident nextseason. i could see him becoming a 30 g scorer if he keeps his head up and plays more alert. or else hes gonna have a shortened career. he gets destroyed worse than prucha did somtimes.

  130. bull dog line on

    CT,
    Stepan does not have the shot to play wing regularly. he is more of natural center playmaker. more of an Adam Oates type. Anisimov has the size to play wing, but not necessarily the bite.

  131. Doodie Machetto on

    CTB, Richards has been and will be a better player than Gomez. What I meant by Richards becoming the next Gomez is that he is being paid to come in and be a playmaker for our #1 RW, and the two just don’t click and his production just starts to decline as a result. Granted, a declining Richards will be superior to a declining Gomez, but do you really want 7.5 plus tied up in 70 points a year (an example of a declining Richards projection)?

  132. Doodie Machetto on

    Anisimov has size but no strength. I have rarely seen such a big player forced off the puck so easily.

  133. well what do u guys think about trading for weiss instead of richrds if he is too expensive?? i saw that he could be plan b if richard falls through

  134. CTBlueshirt on

    And…Giroux isn’t a bad comparable for Anisimov, same age, Giroux got his start in the NHL a year earlier.

    Giroux
    08/09: 42 GP, 9 G 18 A
    09/10: 82 GP, 16 G, 31 A
    10/11: 82 GP, 25 G, 51 A

    Anisimov
    09/10: 82 GP, 12 G, 16 A
    10/11: 82 GP, 18 G, 26 A

    Now I don’t know if Artie can hit 70 points next year mostly because this past year’s Flyers team is probably better than next year’s Rangers team, but I’d give Artie another 2 seasons to prove whether he can be a 60-65 point player. They waited for Dubi and Cally to have their breakout years.

  135. yea but he has the skill doodie. he could fix the strength issue easy. work out, drink badger milk, whatever. at least he can get stronger.

  136. bull dog line on

    any trade they make for someone like Weiss, or Stastny, is going to cost some valuable assets.

  137. yea i’d give artie at east 2 more yeas also. now if he can keep improving his stats by 10-12 points next year, maybe get to 25g 35a, thats damn good. i’d keep him but hes gotta get better at FO and like doodie said, gotta get stronger with the puck and keep his head on a swivel or hes gonna be decapitated one day

  138. CTBlueshirt on

    Doodie,

    I guess the question is whether Richards is going to be their only person putting up 70 or so points. If so, then their problems will extend beyond just a declining Brad Richards.

    Also, given how scoring in the league has been trending the last few seasons, 70 points is enough to get you just outside the top 20 in the league. This season, 6 players tied for 15th in the league with 73 points. Only 9 players had more than 80 points. I don’t expect him to be a 80+ guy in the back-end of his deal, but if he’s producing 70 points in say years 5 through 7 of a 7 year deal then he’s still being reasonably productive.

  139. well, then thats the problem, we get richards for money, but lots of it and long term years. with trades, you give up value. its always a tradeoff. maybe just keep building through draft and i think we all hve been pretty patient and satisied with the direction of teh team lately.

  140. CTBlueshirt on

    bull dog,

    I agree that Stepan doesn’t have a great shot. But it doesn’t mean you can’t pair him with a player that is more of a natural goal scorer. And he scored 20 in his rookie year, so it’s not like can’t score goals. Maybe he won’t be a 30 goal guy, but 25 or so goals with 30-40 helpers isn’t bad production from a 2nd liner.

  141. bull dog line on

    CT,
    yeah, they waited for Dubi, and Cally, but they both had a much tougher element to there game. Anisimov has a habit of blending in with the boards for long stretches.

  142. bull dog line on

    my point on Stepan was his shot was not strong enough for the wing, not that I think he cant score. most of his goals were from right in front of the net. not much from the top of the circle out. also moving him to the wing takes him off the puck. I like his playmaking ability with the puck.

  143. CTBlueshirt on

    bull dog,

    And yet for his “weakness”, Artie has been just as, if not a slightly more productive as Dubi and Cally when they were Artie’s age.

    Assuming Artie gets stronger I wouldn’t be surprised to see him be more offensively productive than either of those two.

    I like hard nosed players as much as everyone else, but teams also need slick playmaking players. The Rangers have Dubi, Cally, Prust, Boyle and maybe Feds coming back. They’ve got a decent amount of sandpaper on their team.

  144. bull dog line on

    CT,
    you know what Ralph Kiner says about stats right.
    stats are like looking at a woman in a bikini. you can tell a lot, but you can’t see the whole story.

  145. Doodie Machetto on

    See, it’s what I saw from Stepan this year that really makes me want to pass on Richards. I really would like to see more of his development, as well as the development of Anisimov and even Chris Kreider before I say “OK, we MUST go outside the organization for a #1 center.” Does nobody think Stepan or Anisimov can be that guy?

    Personally, I think Artie’s ceiling is a solid two-way center, someone in the mold of recent Patrice Bergeron (not preconcussion offensive force Bergeron). But he really needs to improve his faceoffs.

    But I think Stepan, with hard work, could really become a #1 center, even if he’s at the lower end of that spectrum, like Andy McDonald in 2007. I guess that’s what, Plekanec territory now? But Stepan must also work on faceoffs.

  146. Doodie Machetto on

    Orr, with you on Garlock and DiDiomete, but I think I could move Nightingale for the right price.

  147. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    Not being sarcastic Doodie. We all know when we have done a good job, regardless of other’s input.

  148. Doodie Machetto on

    Well then thanks again. What do you think about this whole Richards debate?

  149. CTBlueshirt on

    bull dog,

    I didn’t say that stats tell the whole picture. But Artie went from playing 4th line mins in his first full year to playing top 9 and often times top 6 minutes in his 2nd year and saw a nice improvement in his production. Maybe he doesn’t take that next step and become a monster, but even if he puts up a “soft” 60 points next year it will contribute to the team.

  150. bull dog line on

    I happen to agree with you CT,
    I think Anisimov is going to develop into at worst a 20g 50pt guy. I just happen to think he would be expendable if they sigh Richards, and of the centers last season he was the only one not to meet or exceed expectations.

  151. Boom Boom Bathgate on

    That FA “missing piece” you refer to is usually: 1. over 30, and soon to be on the downside; 2. over-compensated for too many years; 3. A shiftless mercenary (see: Chris Drury); 4. Injury-prone; 5. Blocking an organizational prospect’s promotion to the NHL; and the big one: 6.. UNDER-PRODUCTIVE at the price. I say no thanks to all of them.

    If an organization is good enough to get to within one missing piece of the championship puzzle, it can surely develop that piece, too. Or make a trade which doesn’t mortgage the future. The best trades in all sports are trading, say, two red chips and a white chip for a blue chip (leaving draft choices out of it.) In other words, trading (easily replaced) quantity for quality. The team exchanging more players in a multi-player deal, comes out ahead about 90% of the time. (Wilt Chamberlain was once traded for three guys named “Joe.”)

    Remember, there was a time before free agency when you drafted talent, also you traded for it. Dynasties were built this way. It’s not like there were no dynasties before the Free Agency system replaced having a smart and dedicated work ethic in the front office. Sather is one of the all-time lazy-ass GM’s, every year just trying to buy his way into the round of 16. He would not have lasted long on the job, in the pre-free agency era.

  152. Doodie Machetto on

    I’d say Casey Pierro-Zabotel, but it’s hard to make a trade with Pittsburgh since they are in our division.

  153. bull dog line on

    Boom Boom,
    it is very hard to disagree with any of your 6. I will say this though. at some point in a rebuild you may have to go outside the organization to fill holes. would I rather trade for Stastny than sign Richards? yeah probably. but Ststny is going to cost you some real good assets. Richards is just money. Hank is not getting any younger, nor is Gabby. if not this season, when?

  154. Boom Boom, I agree with your points. But, I happen to think Sather has been very good with trades. The only bad one that sticks out is the Korpikoski-Lisin deal, which was clearly a loss for the Rangers…

    I trust Sather to make a trade for an “elite” player but, not neccessarily to sign an “elite” player on July 1…

  155. “if not this season, when?”

    don’t you know? there is always a next season! and if not, then there is always a season right after the next season! and if not, then there is always…

  156. leetchhalloffame on

    Can we trade Slats for the right to Richards? Even if we don’t sign him it’s a win-win.

  157. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The proud winner of 3 Latona lunch points!!) on

    I agree with bull dog about being close to contenders and I think we need some serious grit on the blueline to get us there along with a player like richards.

    I would trade dubi before I would trade AA.

  158. Any update on Richards from the great iBob today? I thought he said the Leafs were thisclose to dealing for his rights yesterday? Where is Rod Lurking when you need him?

  159. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Vinny , Yes . Richards , No. !!!"...says Greg L. on

    We will be scoooping up a gem come draft time , you heard it here first!!!

  160. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Richards is washed up !!!"...says Greg L. on

    I say we trade the rights to get Richards half price!!!! On a 2 year deal.

  161. ZzZz NYR ZzZz " Free agents are NOT Free !!!"...says Greg L. on

    Oh yeah NYR fan we are scoooping up another gem ..I can see it . No not another Manny Malhotra whom blossomed in Vancouver as a 3rd liner. No not Marc Savard whom is is concussed more then Lindros. No more hugh jessewomans . Our pick wont die . ( RIP CHERRY ,BOOGAARD) Yes we will we getting a fast , young players and we will all be awaiting to see if he makes it to the big show. Our chances of landing a gem is HUGE!!! We have only positives to come . Lets the show start come Draft day.

  162. I do not think Anisimov is a top line center. Stepan, on the other hand is a top line talent, the question is whether he will stay at center or move over to LW when its all said and done.

    I think Anisimov is a good 2nd line player but I don’t see the all-star potential. Nothing wrong with being a defensively responsible 40-50 point player though…

  163. excellent post, Carp. I am in complete agreement with every thing you said today about Richards. especially since he was out with a concussion for an extended period late last season, and you don’t gloss over those things these days.

    If he wants to come to NY, then let him show it by taking a shorter term contract, so that another Drury situation will not occur several years from now.

  164. I really think that Artem Anisimov deserves some defending here. The kid is only 23. He is already a very solid defense forward *who will come into his own offensively!!* The guy is a goal scorer and has world class skill. It has been on display. Check out his sick highlight reel. If this guy put on 20 pounds, he would be dominant. With confidence, I think AA can become an elite NHL player. His ceiling could be 90 pts in a few years…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sXA2-uKcws0

    ‘Nuff said…

  165. AA is not going anywhere. Remember Dallas wanted him in a package deal and sather was insulted. Give him 2 more to prove himself.

  166. Let me change that, prove his potential not himself, he’s proven thst he has skill and its clear that even west coast teams have noticed this of AA.

  167. So far I am very comfortable with sathers dealings. I think Richards is a big mistake and we are not close to being contenders. One guy is not going to make the rangers. We need to build, building is all sather should be worried about and he actually has stuck to this ideal. When, and only when, we are a top 4 east coast team for a few yrs, is it time to think about dealing and putting together a winner… see rangers in ’94.. if we constantly try to fill a hole, we simply just make other ones. Let’s just be patient, its only been one season since we’ve adopted this philosophy(at least publicly Haha). We don’t need any more inflated contacts, I thought that this was the lesson learned?

  168. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The proud winner of 3 Latona lunch points!!) on

    I think we should keep building and building and not try to get any proven NHL players until Hank is all washed up then we will be ready to strike for a championship run…oh wait, then we will need goaltending…………..DOH!!

  169. wicky, if it came to down to it would part with AA for Iggy? I would have to think long and hard…I am not sure that I would…

  170. wicky(grating PIBG)© (The proud winner of 3 Latona lunch points!!) on

    NYR
    that is a fair question and a tough one, I would trade the majority of guys on our roster for iggy, but AA is one of the guys I would really be hesitant to. In the end, yes I probably would just for what iggy brings to the table every night, so yes I would.

  171. Olga Folkyerself on

    Knicks President Walsh out?

    Sather! Take the hint!

    Dolan! Make it a double…

  172. Dolan didnt fire him…..Walsh didnt want to commit for more than a year, and Dolan said sign for 2 since next year may be a lockout….

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