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.