Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/05/11 at 06:12 AM ET
According to the New York Post’s Larry Brooks, the theory that the Red Wings might be able to sign Brad Richards to a one-year deal might be an “intriguing story,” but even the New York Rangers might be getting cold feet about Richards’ desire to earn a big-money, long-term deal that only Toronto might be inclined to give him:
The Rangers have heard through the grapevine that Brad Richards will be seeking a long-term contract worth a minimum of $7 million per when the free-agent market opens on July 1, and they’ve heard it more than once and they’ve heard it from more than one source.
This means that, a) general manager Glen Sather will not be sending an asset to Dallas for the right to try and convince the 31-year-old center to sign before he hits the market; and, b) the Blueshirts already are pondering a Plan B to bring a first-line pivot to Broadway.
We’re told by well-placed sources Richards has no intention of signing for a discount in order to reunite with coach John Tortorella, with whom he won the Cup with Tampa Bay in 2004. That’s fine. If five years at $6.5 million per—that’s the number—doesn’t represent enough green to get Richards into a Blueshirt, then that’s that.
Maybe Richards would take less to return to Tampa Bay, maybe living a life with less daily stress than everyone of us who lives in New York routinely encounters just isn’t for him. That doesn’t make him a bad person any more than Cliff Lee taking less to play for the Phillies rather for the Yankees makes the lefty pitcher a bad guy. Signing Richards to a five-year, $32.5 million contract would have represented a risk/reward move anyway, given both the history of such free-agent signings here and the matter of the concussion the pivot sustained last winter.
Continued, and Brooks believes that Stephen Weiss or Patrick Sharp might be alternatives the Rangers might pursue via trade.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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