Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 10/26/11 at 09:34 PM ET
from Mike Sielski of the Wall Street Journal,
...But the notion that Richards will have to make some significant change to his personality or his play to adjust to New York seems a stretch at best. Yes, this is a rite of passage that every superstar athlete new to the city must undergo. CC Sabathia, Amar’e Stoudemire, Carmelo Anthony, Jason Bay—they’ve all been through it. They’ve all been asked whether they can handle playing here. Sometimes—as with Bay, who has disappointed during his two-year tenure with the Mets—the player’s performance justifies those doubts.
Richards, though, appears willing to embrace those expectations, and the possibility that he might not meet them.
“He wants this challenge,” said Rangers coach John Tortorella, who also coached Richards with the Lightning. “It’s a great city. It’s a great sports town. There are different pressures coming here. There’s accountability that comes into play coming to a big market like this, but that’s why Brad Richards is Brad Richards. He wanted this, and that’s why we want him.”
Counterintuitive as it might sound, given the size of the market and of his contract, playing in New York might end up being less of a burden for Richards than playing in either western Florida or northern Texas had been.
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