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Goal Line Report

Should the Rangers Go After Brad Richards?

Last season, it was obvious that the New York Rangers lacked a true No. 1 center and in the end, it hurt them.

The team had Brandon Dubinsky, Erik Christensen and others try to play with Marian Gaborik and while there was some chemistry here and there, there wasn’t enough to scare teams or produce points consistently. In fact, you can say that the team’s best No.1 center in the last five seasons was former Blueshirt Michael Nylander.

One number one center that has been floating around Rangerland is Brad Richards. Richards is a proven point producer who last season, scored 91 points (24 goals and 67 assists) in 80 games with the Dallas Stars. The season before that, he had 48 points in 56 games so as you can tell, Richards is good for about a point a game.

If the Blueshirts found a way to get him, he’d be a lock to play with Marian Gaborik. Gaborik would have himself a pure No. 1 center and someone that can feed him the puck or he can feed the puck to. They would certainly become a dangerous combinatio n and right now, the Rangers need all the offense they can get.

Another good thing about Richards is he is only 30 so it could be an acquisition that could last a few seasons. He’s also played under head coach John Tortorella with the Tampa Bay Lightning so he could easily get comfortable quick on Broadway.

The question is - how does the team acquire Richards? Who would the Stars be willing to take off the Rangers’ hands? How can the Rangers clear cap space?

For another take on the possibility of the Rangers getting Richards, please check out Nicholas Montemagno’s piece on Blueshirt Banter.

Filed in: | Goal Line Report | Permalink
  Tags: brad+richards, dallas+stars, john+tortorella, marian+gaborik, michael+nylander, new+york+rangers, tampa+bay+lightning

Comments

Matt Fry's avatar

The only ones I can think of is Wade Redden or Chris Drury.  But I can’t see the Stars taking either one of those to give up Richards.  Maybe some draft picks but even then

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 07/23/10 at 07:10 PM ET

Mike from Austin's avatar

The Stars must be praying for someone to come callin’ for Richards.  They have an internal cap of $45 million, and I think they’re a little above that mark.  Plus, sale of the club appears nowhere in sight, and owner Tom Hicks hasn’t been able to sell his Texas Rangers because he’s got creditors challenging the bid price in court. 

Nieuwendyk’s hands are tied.  It’ll be interesting to see what he does, if its a smart or boneheaded move…like his firing Dave Tippett to hire Marc Crawford.

Posted by Mike from Austin on 07/23/10 at 07:39 PM ET

Avatar

No question that Richards would be an amazing compliment to Gaborik.  I’ve always thought that players like Gaborik and Iginla have been marooned out on their wings and need a pass-first centerman.  Not too many out there, but Richards is certainly near the top of the list.  But in order for that to work, the Rangers would have to give up several picks/prospects.  Dallas is clearly trying to rebuild but doesn’t have too much to work with.  I could see a deal for Drury and a combination of Kreider, Stepan or McDonaugh doing the trick.  Both Drury and Richards have one year left on their respective deals and are close in salary.  If Dallas could acquire that expiring contract and pick up a solid NHL-ready prospect or two in the process, it certainly could work for both sides…  But the Rangers would likely want to ensure they can resign Richards.

Posted by Unicorn Force from DC (but like everyone here, I'm not a local) on 07/23/10 at 07:42 PM ET

Mike from Austin's avatar

Posted by Matt Fry from Winnipeg on 07/23/10 at 06:10 PM ET

Draft picks might be the way to go.  Stockpile picks and wait til the new owners to come in and stabilize the club financially so the franchise can really going about rebuilding.

Posted by Mike from Austin on 07/23/10 at 07:50 PM ET

shanetx's avatar

Is it just me or is it pretty amusing that an overpaid player, plus a team with financial trouble, equals trade him to the rangers?

This rumor started floating around last season when it became public that Hicks was losing money hand over fist and hasn’t really died down despite there still being nothing to substantiate it.  Richards is an above average, playmaking #1 center kind’ve guy and he’d be great in NY, and with Gaborik, but he’s also one of the few pieces of the stars roster that gives them any chance of competitiveness this upcoming season.  More importantly, hicks financial woes were the reason for the rumor initially but they are either irrelevant, at this point, or a hood reason the deal won’t happen, now.  The team is for sale and there is reason to believe hicks would devalue it by dumping assets. 

Also, the stars other arguably top line material center, Mike Ribiero, is annoyed with the system Crawford implemented last year, was in the doghouse most of the latter part of the year, and looks like a guy on his way out if town.  He might be available, but Richards?  Don’t hold your breath.

Posted by shanetx from Floydada, Texas on 07/23/10 at 08:03 PM ET

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About Goal Line Report

Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.

Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.

For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at patrickhoffman3530@gmail.com.