May 8, 2013; New York, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Derek Stepan (21) celebrates scoring a goal with teammates left wing Carl Hagelin (62) and right wing Ryan Callahan (24) on Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby (70) during the third period in game four of the first round of the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs at Madison Square Garden. Rangers win 4-3. Mandatory Credit: Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

There's only 1 thing to do with Brad Richards

Apr 19, 2013; Buffalo, NY, USA; New York Rangers center Brad Richards (19) during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at the First Niagara Center. Rangers beat the Sabres 8-4. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Hoffman-USA TODAY Sports

Staten Island, N.Y. - Lets rewind time to 2010. Brad Richards was finishing up a strong season with the Dallas Stars, in 72 games played he was able to register 77 points. Richards’ name had been floating around the rumor mill for the majority of the season being it was the last year of his contract. Dallas had the opportunity to to move him at the deadline but figured keep him as they were still in the hunt for the playoffs and the asking price was a little high. Dallas didn’t make the playoffs that year & when July 1st came rolling around it was known that Brad would see what he could get on the free agent market.

Of course, the New York Rangers were atop the charts of most likely team to land the 31 year old superstar. That they did when GM Glen Sather signed him to a 9 year, $58.5 million dollar contract re-uniting him with his old coach John Tortorella. He had a pretty solid 1st season on Broadway notching 25 goals along with 41 assists for 66 points helping the Rangers to a 1st place finish in the Eastern Conference. He also added 6 goals and 9 assists in 20 playoff games where the Rangers were ultimately eliminated by the New Jersey Devils in 6 games in the Eastern Conference Finals.

Fast forward to the beginning of the lockout shortened 2013 season and it killed most fans to even see this guy on the ice. His numbers were very deceiving as to what he put forth on the ice. He finished the season with 34 points in 46 games (11g, 23a). There were times when you’d hear his name announced during the game and go “Brad Richards is in this game, where?”. Some say he could have been hurt. Some say the lack of “Tortorella Bootcamp” is the reason he never found his legs. Some say the lockout had an effect. Some say…. Let’s just save the excuses. He simply just got caught like a deer in the headlights on Broadway. I personally think the pressure of playing in New York got to him, as it does many athletes in every sport. This all lead to him being dropped to the 4th line & ultimately benched the final 2 games of the season. Lets let that sink in, the near 7 million dollar man playing on the FOURTH line AND THEN riding the pine for the final 2. Talk about throwing away money.


This being said, there’s only one thing to do with Brad Richards. Amnesty. No seriously, at this point this is the only thing the New York Rangers can do. Here are the reasons why Brad Richards MUST be bought out:

- Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh, and Carl Hagelin are all due to be Restricted Free Agents.

- Mats Zuccarello and Ryane Clowe are due to be Unrestricted Free Agents.


With the CAP Limit set to be at $64,300,000 the New York Rangers will have $14,155,833 of spending space according to Now Stepan & McDonagh are due for big checks, I’d say McDonagh gets around what Marc Staal makes ($3,975,000 dollars) and Stepan should come in somewhere around 4 mill. That’s already hovering around 8 million already gone in 2 players (give or take). Carl Hagelin & Mats Zuccarello wont get nearly as much, I’d say each getting somewhere in the 1.0-1.3 million dollar range. Now were up to approx 10.5 mil spent & only 3.6 million left to spend with still Ryane Clowe not under contract. Clowe’s previous contract with San Jose was worth 3,625,000 million dollars so I expect him to stay in that range, so figure he gets a deal for 3.5 mil a year. This leaves the Rangers too close to the limit with no other way to explore with another UFA or even bring up someone like JT Miller because his contract would count against the CAP and put them over.

So they use one of their two amnesty clauses on Brad Richards, and free up some more room to spend on a cheap UFA or use within the system. He will attract attention all over the league so he wouldn’t have to worry about not having a team to play for come October.


Who knows, maybe Glen Sather has some more trickery up his sleeve and can manage to pull off getting all these players under contract AND keeping Richards but I doubt it. So I ask you, would you like to see the Rangers buy out Brad Richards?


Tags: Amnesty Brad Richards Free Agency New York Rangers

  • paulronty

    This is patent nonsense! If he was intimidated by NY he would have performed poorly in his first year. Bring him back & see what he’s got. I think he lacked energy which may have been a medical problem & he should see a naturopath to see why he’s so depleted. He said he never felt normal and I believe him. It’s possible to get these inexplicable virus’ these days that sap all your energy. It happened to my daughter & took months & months for her to feel normal again.

  • Andy Graziano

    Good article Pat. And its not nonsense Paul. It’s only an opinion. Writers have them just like anyone else talking sports at a bar and Pat is just stating his. I am sorry to hear about your daughter but that could have some legs to it as far as Richards performance is concerned.

    I think Pat’s main point is with the cap problems the Rangers are in and the guys on the ledger they have to sign, not to mention Lundqvist next year, is he really worth that contract at this point in his career coming off a season of such disappointment, no matter the reason? That is the ultimate decision that Sather faces.

  • Erin P. Capuano

    I wouldn’t mind seeing him perform this upcoming season if he didn’t take so much of our salary cap away. He just earns way too much and doesn’t perform up to the standards of what he makes. If he took a salary cut to stay in NY then maybe I’d say ok let’s consider it but be honest would he voluntarily do that? He should if he wants to win another stanley cup because the Rangers will get him there. Otherwise he’s just dead weight, maybe Torts had something to do with Richards not playing well and with a new coach who knows it may bring out Richards’s pep in his step. Either way the suspense of this new season is killing me and no one has won the stanley cup for this season yet. Ugh I Hate that we’re out of it.

    • Pivot

      Bro, I share pretty much every sentiment with you there. The thing about Richards is just that he’s paid so much and we have no money left after signing the Free Agents. (4 RFA’s & Clowe). In this post he said he thought the bright lights of the city got to Richards. Since its happened to so many in all 4 major sports. Not Brad Richards. He gets better in big spots. He’s such a great big game player. One of the best in hockey. Remember the playoffs last year in OT against the Caps? He beat the buzzer against Phoenix too in the regular season. Look in the beginning of this year we can all agree he looked out of shape. Right? Well he was then the most consistent offensive contributor. He had 11 points in the 1st 13 games and then the Buffalo game. He was checked from behind head first into the boards. That was a hard shot. Dangerous too. Kalletta I believe or Sekera, I confuse the two. Mean SOB’s. both of them. Richards downslope began there! His skating was off the rest of the year.
      The main reason I can’t bring myself to just throw Richie away with the Buyout is he worked all offseason to help get us hockey. He was one of the main PA reps there for every meeting with Gary (Bonaparte-Hitler) Bettman to help get the CBA done. He also did a few real cool charity events after Sandy. Then after all that was sick for the bogus one week Camp teams got to get ready for the season. He’s 33 now so he needs the camp more than the 25 year olds.
      Brad Richards is the guy we saw last year that put up 66 points. Not the guy that was a step slow this year(and he was never very fast or the best skater). If we have him into this next season, he’s gonna put up another 60-70 points. I feel better with him rather than just Stepan and Brassard as top pivots. I hate that the Rangers are out now too it blows but I think the future is bright and it includes Richards. There’s some good young players coming up this year too so Sather may get rid of some dead weight to clear space against the Cap. Thanks for reading.

      Robert, SI, NY

  • Robert Sahm

    i am concerned more with our goalie resigning then buying out richards

  • LaugherNyc

    The only virus Richards has is age and the loss of that step that makes the difference between taking the hit or slipping it, making the pass or committing the turnover. Richards was an embarrassment most of the season. Couldn’t hit the net, made idiotic blind clears onto the offense sticks–he looked lost and totally done. Maybe he can rejuvenate, but the Rangers cannot afford to see if the fountain of youth is on Broadway. Too many key players who clearly are coming into their prime rather than exiting it will need to be signed, and the Rangers still need one more potent offensive weapon to make it to the finals. Dumping Torts was overdue. He should have been fired after the first 20 games, and I would have fired him after the first two Bruins games to make a statement that third rate dull hockey has no home in New York. The Dolans can afford it… Buy out this huge mistake, give him the phone number for ARod’s latest chemist, and move on.

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