Anyone having heart palpitations imagining the boat-load of money Glen Sather could throw at prized free-agent Brad Richards can put their minds at ease.
According to Larry Brooks in this morning’s edition of the New York Post, the Rangers are not going to get swept up in a bidding war to sign Richards. With teams such as Buffalo and Toronto posing serious threats to sign the former Stars center, the Rangers seem to be intent on either signing Richards on their terms or not sign him at all.
**SEE ANY UPDATES AFTER THE JUMP**
Nick Kypreos: Hearing rumblings NHL teams presenting to Brad Richards are pitching 12.8M max offer in years 1 and 2. [Twitter]
Larry Brooks: Richards will come close close to max money first two yrs with major signing bonus for 7/1/12 to protect against rollback/lockout. [Twitter]
Source: Rangers will have a chance to match Richards’ offer at the end of the day. [Twitter]
Rangers are not sending a group to meet with Richards regarding signing with the team today. [Bleeding All Blue]
Gord Miller of TSN tweets that the CEO, President & GM, and coaching staff of the L.A. Kings are ALL in Toronto to make the pitch to Richards. [Twitter]
Los Angeles may have some difficulty signing Richards as their RFA D Drew Doughty wants to be the highest paid Kings player. [The Fourth Period]
UPDATED 11:55 AM:
Renauld Lavoie tweets that Montreal will also be going hard after Richards today. [Twitter]
UPDATED 10:36 AM:
Darren Dreger tweets that Los Angeles will go “hard” after Richards, adding another team to the sweepstakes. [Twitter]
UPDATED 9:45 AM:
Darren Dreger of TSN tweets that a Brad Richards’ announcement won’t come till later today. [Twitter]
Here’s an excerpt from the Post article:
If Richards is going to make his choice purely on dollars, then the Rangers are extremely unlikely to become involved in a bidding war, let alone win one.
The combination of Richards’ rewarding history with head coach John Tortorella, the Rangers’ urgent need for a blue-chip, first-line pivot and the paucity of elite centers immediately available through either free agency or the trade market, will likely prompt general manager Glen Sather to offer up to six years for up to an average of $7 million per in a dramatically front-loaded offer.
If it’s truly going to take an eight- or nine-year front-loaded deal worth between $55-60 million to sign Richards — Buffalo is believed preparing an offer even larger in scope — and if Richards is going to need a match to become a Ranger, Sather will hold on to his cash for a later day and another option.
One thing to consider when talking about Sather and how much he could spend on free agents today is how much, if any, of an influence coach John Tortorella is in the direction of the team. Torts, as everyone knows, loves the “kids” and wants them to have every chance at progressing. Torts was quoted yesterday in saying the Rangers shouldn’t recruit anyone to play here in New York, they should want to come and be a part of the team.
It’s possible Sather has fully bought in to correctly building a team from within, rather than spending on big-ticket items every offseason. John Tortorella could be the reason why that’s become a reality. Torts also stated yesterday the Rangers shouldn’t sign players for the sake of signing them. Is that something Sather can keep in mind today?
We’ll see if the Rangers truly will stand pat during the free-agent frenzy of today or if they give in to the temptation to get their man here at any cost.