Monday, June 6, 2011

If you are a New York Ranger fan who was wanting to see the team sign Brad Richards when he becomes a free agent then Sunday should have been the reality check you needed to have.

Larry Brooks with his "Sources Indicate" nonsense actually does serve one very good purpose which is offering up the number one reason why the Rangers need to run not walk from any idea of signing Richards.

Of course Larry was the last one to know the Richard story as it did not take an Einstein to know what was going to happen. Richards at 31 is no fool as he knows this is his last chance at a big payday.

Richard knows very well that his production was as good as and in some cases better than several who made more in salary that he did. Richards knows full well that he does not have to take a pay cut from 7.8 million because there is going to be somebody out there who will give him the money.

And this "Dallas is out of the running" is very premature as with each passing day it gets more and more clearer that Tom Gaglardi is going to be able to purchase the Stars on his terms. The Governor's Meeting on the 21st of June leaves plenty of time to get things in order but it was a good idea by Richard to light a fire under their butts to get things going.

As soon as Gaglardi becomes the owner of the Stars then how much you want to bet that Gaglardi will ask one of his partners in the Kamloops Blazers to give Richards a call? Take your pick out of Shane Doan, Jarome Ignila, Mark Recchi and Darryl Sydor to make the call for Gaglardi.

For some reason we think it will be Darryl Sydor making the call to his former teammate that he won the Stanley Cup with at Tampa Bay. And when you are a billionaire like Gaglardi who knows hockey then he understands how badly he needs to rebuild credibility with the Dallas fans.

And another team not to discount will be the new Winnipeg franchise who will be coming into the game with close to 26 million in free cap space. True North could make a huge splash by convincing Richards that Winnipeg is willing to pay for free agents.

In fact if you take the time to read what Capgeek wrote then is makes a lot of sense for Winnipeg to want to make a splash by signing 1-2 key free agents. Adding a Richards to a young team that was in the playoff hunt for most of the season goes a long way to help strengthen Winnipeg's return to the NHL.

But Ranger fans the moment you see that Richards is wanting a payday then that should have been the sign that he was the wrong person for the Rangers. What you should be looking for from a free agent is not the person who says "I am signing because this was the best offer."

You want the guy who says "I picked the Rangers because they offer me a chance to win the Cup." You want the guy who is still hungry and money is not what motivates him to play.

Every year you see players who are willing to take less money because they want to win and will take less if it helps the team out. Go out and sign those players as they are the ones who will come in hungry wanting to not only win but earn a bigger paycheck.

The Rangers simply can not afford to get themselves tied up in another long term deal with an older player. There are still too many holes on the roster (only 13 signed for next season) before you get to the restricted free agents.

Why not instead break that 7 million up and use it on guys like a Kevin Bieska who at 29 will give you experience on the blueline (not to mention having a good playoff run helps) at a mid level salary.

Or a Radim Vrbata to replace the useless Frolov as Vrbata has averaged 21 goals the last 2 years. Learn the lesson that it is "Not how much you spend but rather how well you spend it."

Either that or we can establish a form to fill out every year like this:

What was Sather thinking when he signed (insert name here) to a (insert contract terms here)? You would think that after screwing up when he gave (insert second player's name) that dead weight (insert contract terms here) that he would have learned not to toss money out.

Now we are stuck with this (insert name) for another (insert number of years) years. We have got to stop giving out these contracts already.

But can we please sign (insert flavor of the year name) on July 1?

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