Brad Richards made his decision. The New York Rangers.
The New York Rangers offered John Tortorella, Brad Richards’ coach in Tampa Bay. Don’t underestimate the importance of that. Familiarity doesn’t always breed contempt. That and a front loaded contract was enough.
Don’t be bitter. There was a part of me, the logical side, that did not want him. At 31, his better days are behind him and not ahead. He is still a damn good player but it is unreasonable to assume he will get better with age at 31 especially on a Rangers’ team that is still, to be kind, several players away from being a contender. On the LA Kings, Richards would have thrived. He would have been part of a layer of relentless attack and would not have drawn the opposing team’s best defenders each night. Depth does that. On the Rangers, he is “the man”, while the often injured other man plays half the season once again. This is Brad Richards’ loss far more than it is that of the LA Kings.
And I don’t know about you, but the Mike Richards trade still has a smile on my face and we are left where we began…with one more spot to fill at left wing.
Should we have left Richards alone and signed one of the mid-level free agents? You can argue that. I however advocate you can’t have it both ways. If you are going to complain that the team is not doing enough to become a contender, you cannot at the same time claim that they should have passed on a player that would have made them a Cup favorite.
This was fun and unexpected. That sneaky Dean Lombardi and his mid-range player diversion sneakiness…the sneak. GO KINGS!