Brad Richards, headed out the door, says he can bounce back

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Here’s my story from The Journal News and LoHud.com today:

By Rick Carpiniello

GREENBURGH — Brad Richards is a bright guy and has been around long enough to know the score. And though Richards wouldn’t say so as the Rangers packed their belongings and headed into summer, the alternate captain understands his situation.

He almost certainly will be bought out of the remaining seven years of his nine-year, $60 million contract.

“That’s been written probably since a week into the season, so that’s the business side of it,” Richards said Monday. “I’m going to play hockey next year no matter what.

“I mean, I signed for longer than a year and a half, but I do understand everything that’s going on.”

What’s going on is, probably due to his lack of conditioning during the lockout — he said he was in shape to start the season in September — Richards’ game fell apart in the second year of his contract.

But because of the lockout, with the salary cap going down next season, and with the recapture clause that will greatly punish the Rangers’ attempt to circumvent the CBA with the front-loaded contract if Richards retires before his final season — even if Richards had a decent season they’d probably have to exercise their final amnesty buyout on him, this summer or next. And if they give him one more season and he gets hurt, then they are stuck with the whole deal; injured players can’t be bought out.

So the pencil writing on the wall was changed to pen when Richards played a little over eight minutes on a fourth line in Game 3 vs. Boston, then was scratched from Games 4 and 5.

“It was not a fun time,” Richards said. “No other, really, way to put it. Tough. But life goes on and I’ve got to regroup, figure some things out, and start over. … I can control that; one thing I can control over the summer is how I prepare. If I do all that, I’m confident in how I’m going to enter (next) season.”

Asked if he felt he still has a lot to contribute, Richards simply said, “Yes.” Once the Rangers exercise the buyout, he will be a free agent who can sign with any of the other 29 teams. If he does regain his game and production, the Rangers have to live with that.

Rangers coach John Tortorella would not say whether he believes Richards will be back.

“That’s not a question I can answer,” he said ominously. “You’d have to ask my general manager about that.”

Glen Sather, however, was not available for comment.

Tortorella won the Cup with Richards, the Conn Smythe Trophy winner for Tampa Bay, and was instrumental in bringing Richards in as a free agent. Last week he said he “loves” Richards, and Monday the coach said his relationship hasn’t changed and won’t change.

“Absolutely not,” Tortorella said. “Brad knows how I feel about him. As I said when I took him out of the lineup, I was not coaching him the proper way playing on the fourth line. It just doesn’t work. But I also could not put him in front of other people because I thought the other people were playing better.

“I think it needs to be a start of a jump-start, to make him understand that this isn’t good enough. … That’s one thing about Brad Richards. I think he understands that stuff. It happened at a time that we didn’t want to do it. But it is a bit of a wake-up call as far as where we are, what we expect, and I believe he understands that. And I do believe he will turn himself around.”

AP photo, above.

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220 Comments

  1. Will be interesting to hear their decision…not as easy as you are making it out to be, but I agree they will likely buy him out due to the high values and low production. A strong year would have made the decision difficult.

  2. TheRealMikeyNJ on

    I still don’t get how u think this will just automatically happen? There’s cap space to be had by moving other players, and I bet they give him at least the early part of next season to see what he has left.

    There’s other ramifications by doing this that go beyond Richards, especially with future high end talent not wanting to come here if this is what happens.

    Def not as convinced as u are he’s going anywhere

  3. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    would love to be an NHL player. If you want to be a jerk/if you are preoccupied before a season starts/if you just feel you don’t feel like working out in training camp….don’t. Then, make the GM, owner, even the coach, look like jerks, get people to defend you, and what you did is not so bad. PLUS, if you are bought out, you get 75% of your salary ANYWAY and can go play as best you can somewhere else. GREAT DEAL.

    For him to even seem to be turning this on Ranger management is sinister. Hey, Brad, you were a LEADER on this team by what you were contracted to financially. Remember? It’s not all about the union. You had a job to do. You were supposed to come here ready to play, be a leader. Score, pass, be good on ice and off. Show speed (ha!), play d when needed (ha!), and instead you negotiated?????? HUH????

    How’bout refunding some of your bonuses and salary and admit you were not ready?

  4. Matty"Monster Nash"Boy on

    It is a really hard decision. The size and length of the contract aside, he could be back as a player, perhaps. And Torts still loves him. How do you not take a chance.

    On the side of reality:
    1. If he gets a long term injury, we are screwed
    2. his contract, as it is is SO over the top for his skill level that the buyout is MADE for stuff like this.

    As a matter of management, this team HAS to take the buyout and let someone else see if this guy can return to playing hockey.

    ****INstead of blaming management, and anyone else around him, RIchards should look himself in the face and realize how much he let this team, his team, down. Had he been 50% of what he should have been, we may have gone much further. But, he seems ripe to blame everyone else but himself.
    Talking about his relationship with Torts, he spit in his face (Tort’s face), too. How dare he not be ready. Who cares if he was involved in negotiations??? For $7M, darn it, be prepared. Slapped Torts right in the face.
    Selfish is what I call it. Selfish.

    If he comes back, on another team and play like he was expected to play, he should be sued for fraud and lack of trying. Enough with these silly LT contracts where the players can just breath and make their obscene contracted amounts.

  5. Boy oh boy second year in a row I go away for Memorial Day weekend and come back to break up day discussions.

    Don’t know what’ll happene w Richards but I know two things.

    If he goes: they’ll be back to where they were as far as not having enough down the middle. Yes, others will be available through the course of next season but Cap weary GMs will be looking to stick pile youth and picks nY doesn’t have.

    If he stays: it’s a gamble for the same reasons stated. Plus he’s a year older a year slower and they can’t do very much if a top forward is available.

    Either way you have no Clowe and no Gaborik. We are basically Columbus now. Just w a better goalie and Cally/McD

  6. And lets not overlook the fact that there’s a lot of work to be done aside from this situation. Team needs a tough defenseman that can play top 6 minutes (Mciilrath will play but not in the role we need) and at least one forward if Clowes not coming back.

    Carp, email.

  7. Rob in Beantown on

    I don’t know how much you can read into those Lundqvist comments. He’s negotiating to get as much money as possible. How much leverage would he have if he said “yes I want to be a Ranger forever”? I don’t think you can read the comments one way or the other.” It’s all a game.

  8. Plenty of blame to go around. Richards for his many shortcomings. Torts for living in the past and blind allegiance to Richards which hurt the team. Sather for signing him to a ridiculous contract. And dont get me started on Dolan.

  9. I don’t buy the conditioning story…he was never a great skater to begin with and will be another year older…he no longer has the speed or strength to be effective especailly at that price …. just can’t can’t afford to hope for the best and screw up roster flexibility going forward

  10. Spending energy attempting to accurately and properly distribute blame is wasteful and an unnecessary consumption of effort – unless perhaps you are the owner and your goal is to hold accountable the person(s) still in your employ who are to blame.

    IMO, Best course of action: assess the results, formulate a comprehensive plan of action to move forward, implement said plan to the best of your ability.

  11. Good morning, boneheads!

    We are starting to see more rational comments on the blog. That’s a start.

  12. What Han said was just that. I wouldn’t overanalyze it. He is a smart man, and is being careful. Just because he didn’t say he wanted to stay doesn’t mean much. In fact, very often players who say they want to stay sign elsewhere. But yes, they will have to show that they are moving towards the right direction, and they will have to pay him. I believe they will do both.

  13. TheRealMikeyNJ- there is no such a thing as giving Richards “at least the early part of next season”.
    Any buy out can only happen after the season expires.

  14. I couldn’t even imagine showing up to my job, doing it less than half-assed but getting paid to do so, and yet, blaming my boss for my performance. I doubt I would still have that job, unless I worked for the Rangers.

  15. Cross Check Charlie on

    I wanted the Rangers to sign Richards because at that time they were at the same point they are now – one elite talent up front and a bunch of 2nd and 3rd liners. They needed another elite talent and he was one. When they added Nash I couldn’t believe it because they haven’t had legitimate first line players in as long as I can remember.

    Then Richards and Gaborik sucked. Gabby is gone and Richards is as good as gone.

    Now what do they do? You can’t win with just one elite player. Look at the teams still playing in the playoffs. They all have more than one.

  16. Honestly, I have no doubt that Richards will come back and have some great seasons with some other team. This guy is a good player, and I don’t think Tort’s system is helping him at all. This guy does fine when he has some space to skate and make a play, none of which any of the Rangers have had all season. If he goes to a team that knows how to actually run an offensive system, I don’t see him not putting up less than 50-60 points, especially if he gets in better shape and has a full training camp. As far as the Rangers go, it’s time to stick a fork in him.

  17. Charlie, while I agree we need more than one elite player, I look at teams like Los Angeles, San Jose, and Boston and wonder who their truly “elite” players are and if they have more than one.

  18. The Clowe situation is more complicated. I guess they will make their decision based upon his medical records. It isn’t farfetched that he can fully recover, and be effective. The length of his contract should also be very important, the price tag being the last determining factor.
    Speaking of medical records. From listening to Marc Staal, it sounds like he is suffering from traumatic glaucoma- an increase in eye pressure caused by blunt trauma to the eye. The eye drops are working, so he should be ok long term.

  19. I think it’s time to move on and give Derek Stepan what he deserves. He is a 1st line center. No need to go elsewhere and overpay. He outproduced a good amount of “true” first line centers this year, including both Bergeron and Krejci.

  20. Rob in Beantown on

    Do you think the Rangers can get Stepan at a relative discount if they lock him in now to a long term deal? What do you think he would get? $20m over 6 years? More?

  21. I do not run the team, I don’t want to speculate. He is coming off his ELC and isn’t arbitration eligible. I think they will give him a “bridge” contract at a round $3M-$3.5M per year. It could higher if they want to “buy” a year or two of his UFA contract.

  22. The truth about Richards is that he was being bought out either after 2013 or 2014 no matter what. The entire premise under which the Rangers negotiated that contract no longer exists under the CBA and so anything but a buyout would be insane no matter how good he is. The Devils will have to do the same thing with Kovalchuk. And they will. Lots of guys who signed those crazy contracts, all of them, will end up bought out because nothing else makes any sense. I’d be interested to see from that alone who winds up as a free agent.

  23. If the Rangers buy out Richards’ contract could they re-sign him for less? As in, a one year deal worth less money? I mean, that isn’t all that different than re-negotiating a contract, is it? Or would he just not entertain such a thing?

  24. Rob in Beantown on

    The CBA prevents a bought out player from signing any kind of contract with the same team during the next season, so no.

  25. The real story emanating from break-up day is the shot Hank fired across the bow of the SS Dolan.

    While he didn’t overtly throw Torts under the bus, he certainly walked up to him, put his arm around him and whispered in his ear “Do you see that bus coming down Broadway. Don’t think I won’t throw your smug arse under it if I have too.

    I said it a over a month ago, the quickest way for us to be rid of Torts is for Hank to lose his faith.

  26. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    JR – “Richards needs first line minutes to be replenished. I know he will undertake an intents off season program including everything. He wants to win and will bring his physical presence with him everyday. Perspective says you chance the obvious.

  27. Any chance Clowe’s rights can net us a pick back for this year’s draft? Doubtful, right?

  28. Rob in Beantown on

    I don’t think the Rangers have any rights to Clowe since he is a UFA this offseason

  29. The Rangers need to re-establish their identity. They one that they had last year left with the likes of Prust, Dubinsky, and the rest. This is obviously on Sather. If I were him, I would do all I could to get some tough, rugged, difficult to play against personnel. See, I don’t think that the Rangers can’t score. They can (now and then). But having so many soft players makes things harder on their scorers (e.g. Gaborik). Therefore their scorers wind up taking on the duties of the 4th liners. This prevents them the time, space, energy, etc. to put the puck in the net. Not to mention, the defensemen are also weak and guys like Nash wind up spending their entire shift backchecking and battling in the defensive corners instead of trying to establish a forecheck and God forbid apply some pressure on the opposing goalie; which they did NONE of in the Boston series.

    All that to say that the Rangers need to get their role players in order. What made 1994 so perfect was that everyone knew and played their roles effectively. Messier knew he had to score. Beukeboom knew he had to clear out the crease and pound people. Everyone had a job and everyone performed that job. This Rangers team is all over the place. As bad as Richards was this year I don’t blame him 100%. Torts expects these guys to do EVERYTHING. And they just can’t. Scorers need to score. Playmakers need to make plays. Grinders need to grind. I’m not saying that they all need to be singularly faceted players, but they do need to concentrate, and be given the opportunity TO concentrate, on their game. Watching Gaborik check this year was a joke. And he really did try. He tried to be the player that Torts wanted him to be. But does that really do any good for anyone?

    So if I were Sather my first priority would be to try and get someone, anyone, on defense who can hit with some purpose. My second priority would to go and get some role players. Get some guys who can hit. Guys who don’t just let you dance your way into the zone. Guys who let you know that if you have the puck, you’re gonna pay for holding onto it for too long. If they get 2 or 3 guys like that and get rid of the lollipops they have then maybe they can make a legitimate run next year.

  30. _The entire premise under which the Rangers negotiated that contract no longer exists under the CBA and so anything but a buyout would be insane no matter how good he is._

    I’d argue (and did from the start) that the entire premise of his contract was both sides forecasting a buyout option in the next CBA.

  31. _I don’t think the Rangers have any rights to Clowe since he is a UFA this offseason_

    Ehrhoff was a UFA when he was getting dealt every few days. New rule?

  32. Leetchhalloffame on

    This news just in from NHL headquarters. Commissioner Gary Buttman forces Rangers to trade Lundqvist to Penguins so Pittsburgh can be guaranteed to win the next 6 Stanley Cups. Buttman, a dyed-in-the-wool Penguins fan ruled that the Rangers will get a #7 draft choice in exchange for the former Vezina Award winning goalie. He also directed that Pittsburgh will automatically receive the overall #1 pick in the NHL draft from now until he retires as commissioner.

  33. RealMikey, it absolutely has to happen now. If Richards get hurt next year they can’t buy him out and he’s on the books at a cap hit of $6.67M per year through 2019-20. There’s no way that he can stay, especially with the cap going down, even if he had a good year. Then there’s the recapture clause of the new CBA, and that cap hit will go up, way, way up, to as high as $17M I think in 2019, if he retires early, in those final year when his actual salary, $1M per, was designed to entice him to retire.

    It’s an organizational disaster if they don’t buy him out, and you’re going to see a lot of big, long contracts bought out this summer, including Marian Hossa, Bryzgalov, Luongo, maybe Kovalchuk.

  34. what’s more is that the Rangers are well aware of this, and are planning to do it. I’ve been telling you guys that for a couple of weeks now.

    It’s the plan.

  35. I think there’s still the exclusive negotiating window before players become UFA on July 1 or is it now the 5th?

  36. Stranger Nation on

    Richards was screwed by Torts, Gabby, Nash, Step, Cally and Torts (again). It was a conspiracy. Why can’t everyone see it? The man was set up to fail. He is a first ballot HOFer and will go to the Debbies and win a Stanley Cup if we don’t keep him.

    Don’t buy him out!! Give him more PP TOI, give him better linemates, give him time to get in shape, give him more money as incentive…

    Right the wrong now!

  37. What made 1994 so perfect was that everyone knew and played their roles effectively

    ***

    Yeah there’s that. There was also an in his prime Leetch, a career year for Graves, the emergence of a top pair D in Zubov and getting Kovalev to play the best playoff hockey of his career particularly in the ECF and SCF.

    Even ignoring the different production rates of different eras, the Rangers don’t have a tandem like Leetch and Zubov to run the PP, they don’t have a Graves and in terms of raw talent Kovalev might be the best player the Rangers have ever selected.

  38. Rob in Beantown on

    But what would be the benefit of having that exclusive negotiating window if he’s just going to be a UFA in a month? There is no urgency, he could just wait.

  39. also, in ’94, the Rangers had Hall of Famers and borderline HOFs on their second and third lines and second D-pair. — Larmer, Gartner, Zubov, Lowe, Anderson … and one of the top five or six players of all time wearing the C.

  40. Nail on the head, Tony. Fantastic point about the 1994 team.

    I’m glad Henrik is speaking his mind. This is the most frustrated and angry I’ve seen him since he entered the NHL, and I think he finally snapped. Good on him.

  41. exclusive window, yes, but they can’t trade a guy still recovering from a second concussion who will be a UFA looking for a long contract, and thus pretty much unattractive to any buyer at the moment. Why would anybody give up anything just for a couple of weeks worth of negotiating against yourself with a player who hasn’t been medically cleared to play again?

  42. Carp, so this is a new CBA rule or am I misremembering something w/ Ehrhoff (and others) as precedent?

  43. I wonder what they’ll do with Del Zotto. Surely a team would want him (Columbus?), but who would we get in return? We need defensemen too.

  44. I have no memory of the Ehrhoff situation, nor of where my car is parked …

    but I think you could do that with a guy you know a lot of teams are after … deal him somewhere and give a team a negotiating window before July 1 … you can never get anything of value for Clowe because of the injuries.

  45. I’d say that Lundqvist came up well short of snapping, Yergs. Not even close to snapping, actually.

    He was careful not to give answers that would weaken his bargaining position. Once again, more than anybody on the team, he gets it.

  46. You can trade him per the rules, but in a de facto sense Carp’s right you can’t trade him because there’s no market for him in his current condition.

  47. Right, Mister. Technically they probably can. Realistically, no chance. Plus if the price is right, the Rangers want to keep him, so why deal him for, say, a seventh-round pick?

  48. If John Scott is worth anything on the trade market, surely a twice concussed Ryane Clowe fetches something?

  49. _But what would be the benefit of having that exclusive negotiating window if he’s just going to be a UFA in a month?_

    You get a chance to bid one on one rather than in an open market? Economically it makes little sense to give up value to do what you can do anyway later on, but it seems like players always get a little less than you’d expect when they sign post-season but pre-FA open. So if you save a million or two versus open market price, its probably worth the 4th Ehrhoff cost. Risky, dumb math and all that, but seems to work.

  50. Re-signing Clowe is almost like trading for him again as they meet the conditions for sending away their 2014 2nd round pick.

  51. _Re-signing Clowe is almost like trading for him again as they meet the conditions for sending away their 2014 2nd round pick._

    Yup. He’s a good player and he can add something to the team, but he’s now a major concussion risk so I’d rather hold onto that pick.

    (Although I wonder if that’s negotiable w/ SJ? Like if we’re flat out not going to resign him at that rate, can SJ rework the terms to make it a 3rd or 4th or something more palatable on our side that also benefits them more than a 5th?)

  52. Rob in Beantown on

    This is academic, but what if they traded his rights and _then_ signed him after he becomes a UFA. Would the Rangers still owe SJ a 2014 pick?

  53. Back to the recapture clause, this according to Katie Strang last week (she’s a lot better plugged into CBA issues than I am):

    The Rangers would be facing whopping penalties should Richards not play out the remaining seven years of his contract. Should he retire in the offseason of 2017, the Rangers would be hit with a $5.66 million penalty, $8.5 million in 2018 and a dizzying $17 million in 2019. Plus, if the Rangers don’t utilize the buyout this summer, they run the risk of Richards sustaining an injury next season. A team cannot buy out an injured player.

  54. So come to think of it, re: Richards, the lockout was… a good thing? Sather keeps getting out of these awful contracts.

  55. _So come to think of it, re: Richards, the lockout was… a good thing? Sather keeps getting out of these awful contracts._

    But you say that like its blind luck rather than something pretty much everyone could have predicted. We all knew the CBA was up and we all knew a reduced cap would come with some buyout/amnesty allowance.

  56. The lockout was a good thing if you’re an owner of a large market team that needed saving from itself (Rangers, Flyers, Montreal, Toronto).

  57. Well yeah, I’m sure that the amnesty buyout was in Uncle Glennie’s back pocket. But I don’t think they signed Richards to that long of a contract expecting him to be burnt out and on another team in two years.

  58. Matty"Sather should have known better"Boy on

    Tony, pretty much agree. Boston won our series because they controlled the area in front of both nets. Sather might not realize that, but that’s where the PO wars are. Our small-ish d-men allowed the huge Boston forwards to drive and camp out 5 on 5 and on the PP. Yes, we need size on D.

    On O, same. Did you see who scored goal 3 for Chicago last night??? How about Bickel. Camped out in front of the weak Detroit D (sans Kronwall) goalie. He has 5 ugly goals already.

    Hope someone tells our GM.

  59. Rob in Beantown on

    Good god don’t say that, not even joking. If he goes anywhere I think he goes out West. I hope he isn’t going anywhere though.

  60. clowe may have to take a one year deal via rangers or elsewhere just to prove he could stay healthy. i would be surprised if anyone gave him more then 2 years right now. we better not

  61. Flyers are going to have to re-sign Giroux and a bunch of other young players in 2014.

  62. MisterD- there is no doubt that some sort of buy out (amnesty, ordinary) was in their plans when they signed Richards, and Brad knew it too. What they didn’t expect was that “benefit recapture rule”.

  63. Chicago also plays a much better transition game that allows to gain the zone with speed and put pressure on Detroit’s D. Their 2nd and 3rd goals last night were also due to Detroit’s D Smith overcommitting to the plays going on outside and giving the Hawks a chance to crash the net.

  64. I’d figure though the compliance buyouts went hand in hand with the benefit recapture provision.

  65. czechthemout!!! on

    Carp your view on Hanks comments differs with many other reporters. I think reality is somewhere in the middle. Hank gave a subtle nudge to Torts and Sather that unless they improve the offense and the PP, he is gone after next season.

    Also both he and Cally contradicted Torts assesment of a side ways step. They both said the team took a backwards step and rightfully so.

  66. _The lockout primarily benefited the owners and not the players!? I’m shocked!!_

    Buyouts help the players as a whole too. The same $1 on the cap is paid out $1.67.

  67. Of course, CTB. Part of negotiations. They figured 60 compliance buyouts was sufficient to get rid of most of existing toxic ones. NHLPA agreed. I wonder what Minnesota is planning to do with their new guys. Their benefit recapture numbers are $21.7M each.

  68. Rob in Beantown on

    Don’t the buyouts only “help” the few players signed to ridiculous contracts? The CBA hurts everybody else which is the vast majority of players

  69. Not really. The buyout takes Richards off the books (while still paying him $0.67 on the dollar) and allows NYR to respend those dollars. Its more cash from owners to players than if the buyouts didn’t exist.

  70. Rob in Beantown on

    I guess we won’t know until next year how much gets paid out in amnesty buyouts but my guess is the players get squeezed in the long run because their salaries will go down on average. The owners wouldn’t have agreed to the deal if it ultimately didn’t favor them.

  71. Oh, totally. Overall the CBA is huge for the owners, this is just a little piece that benefits the players with off cap dollars.

  72. Most of he teams still have 2 compliance buyouts left. We will see some interesting players hitting the UFA market next two offseasons. Probably most next season, but could be some good ones this June. Another reason to buy Richards out this offseason, it gives you better cap flexibility.

  73. Doodie Machetto on

    Carp,

    I disagree with you on some of the buyouts this summer:

    1) I think Hossa is brought back and bought out next summer.
    2) If the Canucks can’t move Luongo (and they won’t be able to), they might hold him for another year as well, given how he played last year, including in the playoffs.
    3) Kovalchuk will not be bought out. His contract runs through the next CBA before the dollars drop out. I bet Lou holds out for new amnesty buyouts and/or a change to the recapture rule.

  74. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    Any chance the Rangers try to acquire Hossa if he’s bought out (and assuming Richards is bought out)? Still a productive player with skill.

  75. CTblueshirt& Carp,for rejecting the silly notion that there is any comparison with this or any Ranger roster with 1994, in most of our lifetimes!

    1994 came at huge cost in younger players and worst of all the lifetime benefit package given to Sather for his ridiculous deals all but insuring a Cup final.

    Which a candid viewer might conclude had game 7 gone a little longer the chants would be 1940 and 73!

    Welcome to Wrigley Field!

  76. Doodie Machetto on

    CTO,

    I disagree on Lundqvist. He isn’t going anywhere. He can’t get 8 years anywhere else, not to mention all of the media and marketing opportunities afforded to him by being in NY. He also has started business ventures in NY (Tiny’s for example). He isn’t going anywhere. He is just making sure the Rangers know he isn’t going to be taking a discount.

    At the end of the day, money talks.

  77. Doodie Machetto on

    eric, Clowe will get a big deal.

    I’d be more interested in Clarkson, if I were completely snakebitten at the idea of signing a guy away from the Devils.

  78. Rob in Beantown on

    Doodie, why don’t you think there’s another team that would sign Lundqvist to an 8 year deal?

  79. Doodie Machetto on

    Because only the Rangers can offer him 8 years, as per the CBA. The most he could get elsewhere is 7.

  80. Czechthemout!!!
    Carp

    So now the new buzz word is “stiff”? Last couple of years it was “jam” . Hey, maybe when you speak to Torts later today, you can suggest a couple of buzz words that actually mean something.

    How about ” offense” .

    Maybe follow that one up with ” score ” .

    And then just for kicks ” power play ”.

    Those ” buzz” words actually mean something. The other words are not descriptive with regards to how you have to play. It is actually descriptive on what we have in the organization. We have a lot of ” stiffs ” in the front office, who cant draft or sign UFA’s , two ” stiffs ” behind the bench who cant coach, and a number of “stiffs ” on the ice who cant play.

    May 27th, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    This, in response to that shining testament to shoddy journalism, is the post of the year.

  81. Doodie- Kovalchuk’s situation isn’t that straightforward. No guarantee the next CBA will allow amnesty buyouts or will get rid of benefit recapture clause. And if he decides to go and play in KHL after he starts making $1M here, his recapture penalty is $26.2M spread over whatever years left on his contract.

  82. Snakebitten by Devils or not, signing Clarkson at market dollars would make me throw up a massive amount of throw up.

  83. Was hoping we’d be rid of trolls after they lose, at least something positive. I guess, not so fast.

  84. Doodie Machetto on

    ilb, no, there are no guarantees, but there are a few factors that would tend to militate in favor of his not being bought out, all revolving around Lou Lamoriello. First, that man is a wizard, so there is no discounting what he can get done. Second, as I mentioned, he could be counting on a new set of buyouts from the next CBA. Third, after the Sochi Olympics, there might not be as much of an impetus for Russia to keep working with the NHL and the IIHF, leading to the expiration of “non-poaching” agreements. If that should happen, Kovalchuk could just go play in Russia and the Devils could suspend him for failure to report and terminate his contract. Fourth, and this has been floated out there with respect to the future forfeited pick, Lou is getting pretty old (he’s the oldest GM in the league) and may be looking to retire at some point, and might just drop the mess on the next guy’s lap.

  85. Carp, I agree with the fact that Henrik chooses his words carefully and he certainly knows what he’s doing, bargaining wise. However, I think it was either after Game 2 or Game 3 that Lundqvist “snapped” in his own way (not in a Lloyd Braun sense), making statements along the lines of “Well, I did MY job,” hinting that the guys in front of him didn’t play well at all. Again, I don’t know the exact quote(s), but I’ve never heard him speak like that before.

  86. Doodie, suspending him will not prevent the Devils from paying the penalty.

    From new CBA:

    Teams receiving a “cap advantage” from long-term contracts — defined as seven years or more for contracts signed prior to the January 2013 CBA — will be penalized in the event the player retires or “defects” from the NHL before the contract expires. A team receives a “cap advantage” when the player’s actual salary exceeds his cap hit in a given year.

  87. Hey guys, hope you’re all doing well. I’m still on a well timed bit of a stay-cation here with my Wife. Allowing me some time to reflect before I make insane comments.

    Remember the Beard Contest. Need after pics from many of you.

    New post at The 4th Sometimes-Annual, 2012-2013, Lockout Shortened, Paul Mara Playoff Beard Contest Website.

    http://wp.me/p3tIgJ-1F

    Get those after pics over at: paulmaraplayoffbeard@gmail.com

  88. Clarkson is someone I am completely *not* interested. Maxim LaPierre for 3rd Line Center or no one. Stick with what we got. Sign RFA’s and get some kids up here.

  89. Doodie Machetto on

    Speaking of kids, has there been a worse sign as to McIlrath’s development that the team said “Nah, we’re good with Hamrlik and Gilroy as our emergency guys” instead of keeping McIlrath with the team?

  90. I’m assuming Stepan gets locked up for as long as possible but I bet he costs about $3M – $4M per.

  91. Thanks, ilb. I will have the after post up next week when I’m back at work and hopefully we can vote on that once the trolls leave.

  92. CTblueshirt& Carp,for rejecting the silly notion that there is any comparison with this or any Ranger roster with 1994, in most of our lifetimes!

    1994 came at huge cost in younger players and worst of all the lifetime benefit package given to Sather for his ridiculous deals all but insuring a Cup final.

    Which a candid viewer might conclude had game 7 gone a little longer the chants would be 1940 and 73!

    Welcome to Wrigley Field!

    ***

    I think you missed the main point of the comments Carp and I made on the 94 team earlier. It was argued that a huge reason for them winning was because their role players played their roles well. While I can’t deny that was true, the bigger picture view on the team was that they had bunch of in their prime stars carrying the team (Messier was on the back-end on his prime but still very effective, Leetch, Graves, Richter) and a couple of young players step up to take prominent roles (Zubov, Kovlaev). And the talent on that team surpasses what the Rangers are currently able to assemble.

    You won’t find any argument for me that they cashed in numerous chips like Weight (for Tikkanen in 93), Amonte and Marchant to anchor the team that year.

  93. If nothing else, our blog won the Fanley Cup. Sincere thanks (from me) to everyone for the spirited opinions, intelligent discourse, humor, and entertainment – and to Carp who made it all possible.

  94. That could be a good thing, Doodie. But also, it could be significantly enhanced by the first flow of buy out “victims”.

  95. It is a TERRIBLE class of UFA’s. Which means that a lot of horrible contracts are going to be given out. Let’s hope we’re not part of that.

  96. So we buy out Richards, re-sign our RFA’s and then sign Kovalchuk (post buy out)?

  97. Doodie Machetto on

    Are Sather/Gorton going to address the media and/or fans or are we getting our usual middle-finger treatment?

  98. Sioux-per-man on

    Stepan doesn’t have arbitration rights. He will get DZ type numbers for 2-3 years. Before he gets a $3M-$4M type numbers.

    Remember the Cap is going down.

  99. Sather is fishing and duck hunting with Bobby Knight and Ted Williams’ head.

  100. I really hope you’re right, Sioux. I’ve been trying to divide Richard’s cap hit between the three UFA’s (Hagelin, Stepan and McBust) I get something like this McBust ($3M), Stepan ($2.6M), Hagelin ($1.1M).

  101. Doodie Machetto on

    Manny, McDonagh is going to come in around 5 on a long-term deal. He will not get the bridge contract. Likewise for Stepan around 4.25.

  102. Calzone (DelZ) is already getting just about 3 mil next year, after which he is up for a new contract.

  103. Sioux-per-man on

    Manny isn’t McBust=McIlrath?

    McDonagh = McMonster or Mac Truck. He’s been all world.

  104. wow, there is a article by Katie Strang on espn about marc Staal’s eye injury. Katie Strang said “Marc Staal said he does not expect his injured right eye to ever make a full recovery, but he does expect to resume playing at the highest level possible.” Marc Staal was quoted saying “”It’s probably not going to be 100 percent,” Staal said of his injury, “but that’s not to say it’s not going to get a lot better. It’s still improving.”

  105. Yes U = R. Sorry. Watching Game of Thrones here. I agree that they deserve that kind of money but can we afford it?

  106. Need for toughness + need for scoring + Clowe double concussion = Clarkson overpayment

  107. Doodie Machetto on

    They can’t risk either of those guys reaching RFA status, especially McDonagh. The Flyers will offer him 7 million a year. And Stepan, after the season he had, will get a desperate team to make him an offer, like Calgary did with O’Reilly.

  108. Doodie Machetto on

    Sioux, speaking of McIlrath, what do you think about what I said about him earlier? I want the rosiest-colored glasses to give me an opinion on it.

  109. Jon P. … I’d love to respond to you, but I have no idea what you’re talking about … so if you want to try an English version, please do.

  110. Mcllrath should be our 3rd pair, Right Side D-Man. Drop the gloves when we need him to, clear the crease and match up against other teams 4th line Forwards that have been KILLING us in the past two playoff seasons.

    I know I’m not Sioux, but I have pretty Rosie glasses.

  111. Sioux-per-man on

    McD = 3 to 3.5
    Step = 2 to 2.5
    Hags = 1.5 – 2

    I read somewhere that Step doesn’t have arbitration rights, so he’s stuck in the Del Zotto boat. Either sign what your offered or don’t play. Stepan isn’t the type that would sit out over a fair market value offer.

    Do You?

  112. czech, not saying I’m right, but many reporters don’t know their aasen from their elbow. Like the ones who thought the Rangers’ new fourth line was so they could goon it up instead of trying to win Game 4. Or the ones who think Richards’ remarks mean he’s coming back, Or the ones who think the coach or the GM are in trouble. Or the ones … you get the idea.

  113. Doodie Machetto on

    Philly certainly does. And I don’t think they had any particular hate for Nashville last year when they offersheeted Weber. Granted, McDonagh isn’t Weber, but 7 million isn’t 7.85 million, and the Rangers aren’t the Predators.

  114. Jon Paul G. on

    tommyG I read that from Strang yesterday. She is great. If in search of legit Rangers news and opinions, Strang and Gross are the best.

  115. sorry carp, I was out all day/night at a house party, didn’t realize it was discussed on this blog.

  116. Doodie Machetto on

    Manny, but if McIlrath is supposed to be that guy, why did they say Hamrlik and Gilroy were better emergency choices than McIlrath? If he couldn’t beat out what was left of Hamrlik for a roster spot, I’m not sure he will EVER play in the NHL

  117. Mcllrath will be here next season. I think a lot of keeping him down in the AHL was related to his knee surgery.

  118. re: McDonagh, I was going to discuss this later on … but I do think there’s a real possibility of an offer sheet with him, a team like Philly desperate for D and with cap space after buying out Universe. Not a great chance, but a chance.

    And the Rangers know this which means A) that’s another reason to buy out Richards, in case you have to match an offer sheet to McDonagh; B) that they will act quickly to get McD signed. Why not pay him for five years and good dollars and be done with it?

  119. If I had two concussions, I would note all the cheap shot artists among my competition, and carry and use a high stick until they got the message and my coach could either sit me or back me up.

  120. Sioux-per-man on

    Doodie I missed your comments on McIlrath.

    I really want to see this kid succeed. I think he will be our 6th/7th DMan next year. He’s had a full year in Buke school, so he should be ready. Rangers are in Dire need of a crease clearer and someone to replace Bickel’s fist.

    I see him earning a spot out of camp if he’s healthy.

    I’ve always thought the Rangers should have taken Fowler on this pick. I thought he was years ahead of McIlrath. But they need toughness, so lets hope the kid can make it.

  121. it was here before it was there, troll Jon. But if you disagree, and you are certainly welcome to do so, then I can give you the links to their blogs and you can go there. We’ll miss you though. …

  122. McDonagh is NOT WWeber. I’m not saying he’s not a fantastic defender with even higher ceiling but I don’t think he has that profile yet. But who knows. Either could be correct.

  123. doubt McIlrath will be a seventh up here, Sioux. He’s going to be top six or he will be in Hartford. Makes no sense for him to be a scratch.

  124. I’d like to see the Rangers lock up McD for 10-12 years…it will soon seem like a bargain

  125. Doodie Machetto on

    I just don’t see it for McIlrath. I’d love for him to be everything he is supposed to be, I just don’t ever see it happening.

  126. Good as he has been, McDonuts still has an offensive upside and must be signed long.

  127. Sioux-per-man on

    Carp – what are your thoughts on Clowe. We need his grit and size, to beat a “Boston” type team. What kind of an offer do you think gets it done? Then there’s his injury status.

    I’m on the fence with this.

  128. carp, I agree, why wait on Mcdonagh, sign him long term, give him the money and be done with it. Like someone said, in a few years it will look like a bargain.

  129. Jon Paul G. on

    troll. That word is so overused. I’m a Rangers fan like the rest of you.

    This is like a high school. If you give an honest opinion and do not conform, you are not one amongst the cool kids.

  130. Sioux, very, very risky to sign him even for one year at reasonable money. If he fights even once, he might be done. And I still ask the question, why did a San Jose team that thinks it can win this year trade one of its captains for draft picks? Made no sense to me.

    But i think they will try to sign him for two years, maybe even three. And we’ll be talking about the mistake by the end of next season.

  131. Doodie Machetto on

    coos, I agree on McDonagh’s upside. I’ve said that his tools (superior skating ability, great cerebral play, and flashes of offensive brilliance), he reminds me of a young Scott Niedermayer. But Niedermayer’s development was different.

    Niedermayer had the benefit of defensive defensemen like Stevens and Daneyko to stay at home so he could focus on the offensive side of the puck right away in his career and didn’t become a complete defender until later. McDonagh has had to go the other route, focusing on defense first and only now having the reigns loosened a bit on his offensive game.

  132. Sioux-per-man on

    With the Cap going down, the numbers are not going to be Sutter type numbers for McDonagh. He’s a RFA not UFA.

  133. That’s a great picture up top…just screaming for some creative photoshopping. Mayeb that should be our first offseason contest

  134. Onecupin74yearsandcounting on

    They may not be able to afford a Hefty Hank. Brodeur gave the Devils a home team discount , I think Hank likes it here but wants his $$$$ , its not like he’s won a couple of Cups like Marty..

  135. BTW George Ringo,

    Katie and Andrew are great, great friends of mine and they both do a terrific job, and a lot of our loyal folks here also read them, and I don’t blame then one bit.

  136. Doodie Machetto on

    Jon, I’ve got no problem with when the media gets taken to task for softball questions, but show me one thing that Gross or Strang has reported or asked that Carp didn’t.

    Furthermore, I’d say other than Larry Brooks, Carp offers more editorial on the team than any other local reporter.

    I happen to think Brooks’ editorials are often incorrect, so Carp is my #1 go to on the team.

  137. you know sather is itching to sign another bad contract, we all know it’s coming. I really hope they don’t sign clowe, it’s bad enough sather gave up a 2 and a 3 but if he signs it will be another 3, plus the bad contract for a guy that wasn’t very impressive and now coming off 2 concussions in less than a month.

  138. I don’t blame Lundqvist for wanting to be paid. I would too. It’s NY, it’s Dolan, it’s MSG. They print money. They overpay guys half as good. I’d want to be paid like the best goalie in the league, and like the best player on every team is paid.

  139. Doodie Machetto on

    coos, are you referring to the situation where we traded for him in the first place? Because that trade was a major setback.

  140. I think the best hope, though, is that Sather has taken a back seat to Gorton and Co. And they understand the cap. Last few years they went all in when the cap was higher. I don’t think they’ll be drunken sailors this year … unless signing Clowe would indicate an inebriated midshipman.

  141. I don’t know about Carp vs. Katie vs. Andrew.

    I only come here because Carp has the best donuts and because girls love bloggers

  142. True or False: the way Carp explains the options that could play out w/ Richard’s contract, he KNEW he was going to be bought out, he negotiated the contract and immediately KNEW he was gone….and then flipped the bird at NY and walked straight to the bank.

  143. I think a HEALTHY Clowe would be a useful, integral part of our going forward.

  144. False, BMac. He wants to stay, he wants to succeed here. The guy absolutely cares and this year killed him.

    But he did make sure he got the first $20M in the first 364 days of the deal.

  145. And I’m sorry, I know I’m immature, REALLY immature, but it never gets old seeing the word “Doodie” over and over

  146. Jon Paul G. on

    The season wrap-up article that focused on stiffness was the worst article I have ever read.

    Has Carp ever taken Torts to task in an article for the newspaper?

  147. Doodie Machetto on

    And truth be told, it was McDonagh’s stalling offensive development that made him expendable to the Canadiens. They drafted him to be a puck-mover but in college it wasn’t really his game. What a mistake by Montreal.

  148. Gravy, Just Gravy on

    Don’t know why people feel the need to sign up for a news site just to tell the reporter they don’t like the way they report.

  149. I know this is America and we all have the right to free speech, but shouldn’t new posters be forced to intern for a year of silent reading before they are allowed to post? We need pledges around here…I’m tired of seeing half coherent new participants get banned in their first day just because they puke on their keyboard before they understand the rules around here. It’s our fault not theirs

  150. Cross Check Charlie on

    Jon P – I’m sorry that someone has twisted your arm and forced you to read this blog. Let me know who coerced you and I’ll get tough with them.

    Then I hope you’ll go away.

  151. Doodie Machetto on

    Complaining won’t get you banned. Cursing or personal attacks will.

    Also, I think straight up trolling does also.

  152. lmgo, Fat Guy. (the newbies probably don’t get lmgo).

    I do appreciate that Jon George takes the time to read my blog and my newspaper stories. Must be difficult to do.

  153. Dusty Baker (Red’s manager) suggests that baseball should follow hockey and allow fighting. LOL. Sure would assuage those who think baseball is too boring.

  154. and pledges aren;t allowed to call me Fat Guy…to you, I am Brother Fat Guy in A Little Coat

  155. Who would have believed, of all posters, that Papa Bear would be the first one to slide into post-partum depression?

  156. Rob in Beantown on

    Serious question: If McDonagh think a team out there is going to offer sheet him $7m/year, why would he sign the Rangers qualifying offer at all? Wouldn’t you always want to hold out and let teams fight over you?

  157. Groucho: “Sign this.”
    Chico: “What is it?”
    Groucho: “It’s a Sanity Clause.”
    Chico: “You can’t fool me, there is no Sanity Clause.”

  158. _Serious question: If McDonagh think a team out there is going to offer sheet him $7m/year, why would he sign the Rangers qualifying offer at all? Wouldn’t you always want to hold out and let teams fight over you?_

    Security of the signed contract?

  159. Cross Check Charlie on

    Marx Brothers, Honeymooners, Seinfeld… some comedies never get old.

  160. _7 mil per year? I love this kid, but who is he, Bobby Orr?_

    Strategy, not valuation. Use a short term in hopes of the Rangers not being able to match due to the cap, then once he’s yours you can extend for the full term in a year or two.

  161. Groucho: How about you and I passing out on the veranda; or would you rather pass out here?

    Woman at Party: Sir, you have the advantage of me.

    Groucho: Not yet I haven’t, but wait till I get you outside.

  162. czechthemout!!! on

    Carp

    Just so you know, I was not taking a shot at you with my post yesterday. It was more of a shot at the organization.

    Doodie

    I don’t think 7 or 8 years will make a difference to Hank at this point. I think the money he gets will be huge no matter where he plays. I truly think with Hank, its all about the Cup.
    I also think Hanks number one preference is to stay here but he wouldn’t be the first star athlete on a team who wants some assurances that he is not staying long term on a team who’s window closes and he is stuck here without any hope or chance of a Cup. I put the chances of him staying as 70-30 providing they make the needed adjustments in personel and system. GOALS!!!!

  163. Carp,

    With the offense being the major issue with Tortorella’s tenure with the Rangers, how does Tortorella’s future affect Lundqvist’s decision to stay?

  164. Cross Check Charlie on

    Before I go back to work…

    Re: Richards buyout – they’ve got to buy him out or else plan on having him on the roster until he’s 39. If you thought the 32-year old Richards was bad, wait until you see the 39-year old version.

    Somebody refresh my memory. Wasn’t Richards held out a couple of games because of a suspected concussion or am I thinking of last year? If so, could it be that the concussion was worse than he thought and he tried to play through it?

  165. czechthemout!!! on

    Yesterday, Hank used breakup day as a way to nudge the team to make adjustments where they are obviously needed.

    Being “stiffer” is not an adjustment in a game nor is it a new system. It is another empty word put out for consumption to the public hoping it will deflect from what are the glaring issues on this team. No offense or PP.

  166. I will only say this, Mike. … THE RANGERS DON’T HAVE THE SKILL TO PLAY A MORE OFFENSIVE SYSTEM!

    If he had top-notch skill, the team would play more like his old Lightning teams.

    They have to play this way.

    Can of worms re-opened.

  167. I think Rangers have to sign long-term and big-money contract to nobody, even to Lundqvist.
    I do not why, but Rangers players are very easily spoiled by good contracts, they relaxed too much and stop to produce. May be some specific atmosphere, more media attention or celebrity nightlife in NYC affects them?

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