Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/02/13 at 03:22 AM ET
The New York Post's Larry Brooks spends most of his Sunday column very wisely stating that the New York Rangers may keep Brad Richards for at least one more season given that a new coach may utilize the salary cap compliance buy-out candidate in a way that might redeem Richards' value before the team has to decide whether to buy him out sans a penalty next summer, but given Satuday's Hotstove Tonight talk, his handicapping of the Rangers' coaching search is perhaps more noteworthy.
First, kind-of-sort-of involving Richards...
It is impossible to know whether Messier or Wayne Gretzky — whose eyes never strayed far from the scene — or Alain Vigneault or Dallas Eakins would argue on behalf of giving the 33-year-old Richards one more shot to help take the Rangers where they thought he could lead the club when he was signed two years ago.
But we do know there is no baggage to influence the decision. And we do know the chance today of Richards returning is certainly higher than it was on Tuesday.
And then, very specifically regarding Wayne Gretzky:
All quiet from the Legends Division of potential Rangers coaches, but you can bet this about Gretzky and Messier: Neither in the least relishes a public candidacy in which the two men are pit against one another for the job.
More to the point, Gretzky’s interest in returning to a significant role with an NHL team after a self-imposed four-year absence from the scene is as meaningful as his desire to go behind the Rangers’ bench.
Continued at some length with goaltending talk...
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