Canucks and Beyond

Is Brad Richards Worth it?

02/25/2008 at 7:05pm EST

Updated below with video of Dave Nonis today, discussing the trade deadline situation for Canucks.

Another update below at 6:50pm PT - ESPN has some news…

Another update below at 11:49pm PT - Rumors about a Richards deal with Dallas

At the Canucks Hockey Blog, J.J. is getting heavily emotionally invested in a deal to see Brad Richards in a Canucks Sweater:

There’s no denying his price tag is a big risk. Heck, at $23.4 million over the next three seasons, it’s a huge risk. However, for the last couple of years, we’ve been talking about the summer of ‘08 because it’s the summer when Naslund’s, Morrison’s, Cooke’s and Linden’s contracts all expire, clearing $11.5 million in cap space and paving the way to sign one, maybe even two or three, very good free agents.

Me? I like Richards, but all I can see are losses.

If I’m understanding this correctly, that’s $7.8 million over 3 years, and I have to give up: Naslund, Morrison, Cooke, Linden plus Kesler and Bourdon (which J.J. proposes as possible trade bait in his post) and draft picks?

That price differential means that after getting Richards, the Canucks still have to replace at least 4 of those players for just over $3 million (well, maybe a bit more). And that’s math that I just can’t get my head around.

Am I missing something here?

Regardless, J.J. isn’t the only one hot on this idea. Darren Dreger of TSN (not given to making up wild rumors) has had Vancouver in the mix of this for almost a week. And in today’s Province, there’s similar speculation, (although also mentioning a “Plan B” involving Olie Jokinen instead which makes a pile more sense to me).

But apparently not to Dave Nonis.

This morning, Aaron Portzline, NHL writer with the Columbus Dispatch, is claiming sources say Vancouver has indeed made an offer to Tampa to acquire Richards.

Contradicting the Vancouver papers, Richards himself has said he has not been asked to waive his no-trade-clause (“I haven’t been asked to go anywhere”) but from his comments to reporters this morning, he’s also not too hot on his new employers:

“Unfortunately, the right people built this organization the way it should’ve been, and it’s getting torn apart. And it’s not all by their doing. A lot of outside influences. So, it’s unfortunate to see that happening, but we’ll see. You never know.”

Richards is probably going somewhere—and would indeed be a great asset to a team like the Canucks.

But at what price?

Update 3:58pm PT: Dave Nonis talks today about the trade deadline situation.

Update 6:50pm PT: From ESPN...

Sources told Monday night that Chicago is believed to have made an offer for Richards, but the Blackhawks were told there was another team involved in trade discussions and the Lightning had to mull over the other offer before they could respond to the Blackhawks’ interest.

The Columbus Blue Jackets are believed to have strong interest in Richards, looking to add a top-flight center to play with Rick Nash, but the NHL source said he believes it’s another team. “I think it’s Dallas,” he said.

While Richards has a no-trade clause, he has reportedly provided a list of teams to which he would agree to be traded.

Is Richards going to waive a no-trade clause for Columbus or Chicago this season? I sure can’t see it. So that leaves Dallas, Vancouver… anyone else?

Update 11:49pm PT: Ross McKeon at Yahoo! Sports on Richards (and Hossa):

The Dallas Stars will acquire Tampa Bay Lightning center Brad Richards in a multi-player trade and Atlanta Thrashers right wing Marian Hossa is heading to the Montreal Canadiens before the NHL trade deadline, an executive within the league said Monday night.

(Thanks to Mike Chen for passing on the above link…)

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