How far will the Rangers get this season?

Should The Rangers Trade For Brad Richards Now?

In Sunday’s New York Post, Larry Brooks suggested that the Rangers attempt to acquire Brad Richards prior to July 1st when he’ll become a free agent so they’d have exclusive rights to negotiate a new deal with him ahead of other teams.

Brooks believes that the extra alone time with Richards would allow the Rangers to make sure that Richards is fully healthy and to sensibly negotiate a contract instead of panicking when Richards hits the open market.

Brooks believes that the Rangers might be able to pry Richards away from Dallas with the second of the team’s second round selections, No. 57 overall.

There’s a case to be made for both sides here.

On the one hand, it’s incredibly obvious that the Rangers are banking on acquiring Richards and that he is a missing piece the team desperately needs.  If the Rangers think they’d have a significant advantage over the competition if they got Richards’ rights now, that’s something they really need to consider.

On the other hand, trading for free agents’ rights hasn’t been a common practice in the NHL, for the simple reason that it doesn’t necessarily accomplish a whole lot.  As Brooks points out, the Philadelphia Flyers traded for Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell back in 2007 and locked both up to long-term deals before they hit free agency.  The difference is thatPhiladelphia handed pretty big deals to both players, probably above market value.  Richards knows that he is going to be in huge demand come July, so it makes little sense for him to sign anywhere before he has a chance to see how high the bidding goes.  Brooks writes that since Richards is coming off a fat contract already that he might not be looking to squeeze every dollar out of his future team.  There’s a chance that’s true, but it’s rarely the case in professional sports.

The draft is a crapshoot, but the Rangers have picked up Christian Thomas, Ethan Werek, Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov, and Mike Sauer over the last six years.  Werek was swapped for Oscar Lindberg, but the point is that the Rangers have added some big-time impact players in the second round of the draft recently.  Unless the Rangers think trading the pick would virtually guarantee they get Richards, it might not be a worthwhile risk to take.

Make no mistake; the Rangers know just how much they need Richards.  They won’t be topped monetarily too easily in July, so it probably makes sense to wait.  If they somehow miss out on Richards, they might regret not trading for him, but trading for Richards’ rights guarantees nothing and could mean the loss of a valuable asset.

Season Review:

Breaking Down The Defense >

Breaking Down The Goalies >

Breaking Down The Offense >

Breaking Down The Prospects >

How Three Free Agent Signings In 2007 Have Shaped The Eastern Conference >

Spotlight On Glen Sather >

Spotlight On John Tortorella >


Player Reviews:

Spotlight On Mats Zuccarello >

Spotlight On Brian Boyle >

Spotlight On Matt Gilroy >

Spotlight On Ruslan Fedotenko >

Spotlight On Brandon Prust >

Spotlight On Bryan McCabe >

Spotlight On Alex Frolov >

Spotlight On Michael Del Zotto >

Spotlight On Martin Biron >

Spotlight On Brandon Dubinsky >

Spotlight On Marc Staal >

Spotlight On Steve Eminger >

Spotlight On Henrik Lundqvist >


Possible First Round Pick:

Zack Phillips >

Sven Bartschi >

Mark Scheifele >

Mika Zibanejad > 

Mark McNeill >

Brandon Saad >

Joel Armia >



Posted by Kevin Baumer | May 23, 2011 at 01:18 am

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New York Rangers VS Chicago Blackhawks
Wednesday, October 7, 2015

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Blackhawks 1 1 0 - 2

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