Richards Signs

Nine years? NINE YEARS?!? Do the Rangers even read my blog? (don’t answer that)

I guess (after moving past the shock and horror of the deal) I can see the positives. There is a lot of money invested in Gaborik and we cannot afford him having as poor of a season as he just had. If Richards can raise the level of Gaborik and the powerplay, this was a good signing. In addition, this move can push the Dubinsky-Callahan line down to the second line, which could take pressure off them and have them improve for yet another season.

This team is still young, but if Richards has a good 4-5 years in him, he should be around for a few title runs. Let’s hope he and Torts can recapture some of that magic they had back in 2004.

Also, I’m praying Richards decides he doesn’t want to play hockey anymore at the age of 36-37. The guy will be in NY…maybe he lands a part in a Broadway play? How much fun will he have playing for the Connecticut Whale anyway? (hello Wade Redden) Being serious though, I don’t see Richards playing till he is 40. If you look at the breakdown of the contract, the last four years he is only making $1 million a year, and that is generally a move teams do to make the cap hit more friendly during the years the player is on the team. (think about the whole Kovalchuck issue with the Devils last year) Reportedly his cap hit will be $6.67 million a year, not a terrible number if he can stay healthy and play at the level the Rangers expect him to.

It also doesn’t hurt to know he left around $10 million on the table to sign with the Rangers. Always nice to have players that wanted to come to New York than wanted to grab the most money.

I guess all in all, my problem with this signing has never been specifically with Richards. Instead, I am just worried we will fall into the same trap we have with Drury and Gomez and other players with high salaries and high expectations that haven’t worked out. Who knows, maybe this signing will be different (just thinking about probability…don’t we have to get it right once?) I’ll just hope that the concussion he had last season doesn’t lead to any ill effects (like another concussion) and focus on next season.

…Chris who? Right?

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