With the smoldering august weather making the lack of Ranger news even worse, i proceeded with the unthinkable, i headed over to the bleacher report in hope of finding something that *GASP* all of my other usual stops for Rangers news hadn't covered yet. When i got there I practically got smacked with the double edged sword and immediately felt awful for searching for news, because i found something that could pretty much destroy my confidence in us ever winning anything let alone a Stanley Cup.
From the Geniuses at the Bleacher Report:
The latest information to hit my desk!
Ladies and Gentlemen we can now tell you that without a shadow of a doubt the only reason why the Rangers have yet to sign Brandon Dubinsky is because they are planning to package him in a deal.
The Hockey Rumor Mill has received confirmation with our sources in the Stars organization that Dallas and the Rangers are indeed very close on sealing a deal that would send Richards to Broadway.
Now to say that i had a heart attack, when i read this fine little piece of scuttlebutt would be a major understatement. In a warped sense of Sather-ist management, this completely makes sense. Why not trade one of your recently graduated prospects/future stars for someone with a bloated contract because you cannot wait an extra year for him to blossom in the league. Now don't get me wrong here, Brad Richards is a great player, but his 7.8 million dollar cap hit is outfrikkinrageous for the points he puts up. Let us think back to Scott Gomez's first season with the Rangers.
2007 Rangers 81 16 54 70 3 36 7 0 3 0 242
The guy put up 70 points, putting up more assists than Richards usually averages, and by many accounts that was a poor season, and everyone expected much more of Gomez, which lead to everyone's belief that he is not worthy of his bloated contract. Now lets look at Richards' past couple of seasons:
2006 Lightning 82 25 45 70 -19 23 12 1 3 0 272 2007 Stars 12 2 9 11 -2 0 0 1 0 0 21 2007 Lightning 62 18 33 51 -25 15 9 1 4 0 228 2008 Stars 56 16 32 48 -4 6 5 0 2 0 180
Richards on average, puts up anywhere from 65-75 points, not withstanding his one 90 point season, barring injury. Now last time i checked, those are Scott Gomez type numbers. And also, last time i checked, Richards makes more money than Gomez. The Rangers, just this off season unloaded Gomez to Montreal, and now if what happens in this story comes to fruition, The Rangers basically re-acquire a more expensive Scott Gomez which to me sounds preposterous, and unfortunately the exact kind of thing Glen Sather is known for and prone to doing. Now think it over, The Rangers lose one of their bright up and coming stars for an overpaid mid-career veteran and the cap situation is basically controlled by Richards, Drury, Redden, Gaborik and Rozsival. Seeing as how I am used to seeing the worst happen to this team imagine this: Gaborik goes down with a major injury, Drury has an off season, there is no hope for Redden anyway so why bother, Rozsival is not a game breaking defenseman, and even if Richards puts up one of his usual seasons, he will STILL be overpaid and everyone will want more production out of him. This is exactly what happened with Scott Gomez when Jagr did not play up to his usual greatness his last season with the Rangers. He had an up to par season for himself but the superstars around him didn't excel with him. The same exact scenario is possible with Brad Richards and he STILL MAKES MORE MONEY THAN GOMEZ.
Case in point the entire situation looks tragic to me, because if they trade Dubinsky i will lose all faith in the management. They will get rid of a player every fan loves and wants to see succeed in New York and give the fans a clear indication that they do not know what the hell direction they are taking this team. So please Glen Sather, I ask you, no i BEG you, give the kid his 3 million dollars, suit him up in Ranger blue for at least another 3 years, and please, just please, say no to Brad Richards.