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Rangers can’t snatch Brad Richards, settle for John Mitchell

Feb 28, 2011, 4:25 PM EDT

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Rick Nash, John Mitchell AP

If the rumors were right, the New York Rangers might have been the only team in the running for Dallas Stars free-agent-to-be Brad Richards. Whatever the case was, they didn’t end up with that prized possession. On the bright side, they did land a center during the trade deadline. Unfortunately, that player is borderline NHLer John Mitchell, whom the Rangers acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs along with an exchange of seventh round draft picks.

All snark aside, the Rangers can look at their inability to land Richards during the trade deadline as a mere bump in the road since the star playmaker will become an unrestricted free agent in the summer. Naturally, it’s not automatic that he’ll end up in the Big Apple, though.

Mitchell is almost certainly just filler. He bounced between the big club and the AHL’s Toronto Marlies this season, scoring two goals and one assist for three points in 23 games with the Maple Leafs. If nothing else, he could be a semi-experienced injury band-aid if needed.

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