Oct 13, 2013, 12:50 PM EDT
The New York Rangers have very little they can be proud of so far this season, but forward Brad Richards is a different story.
While his team’s early struggles have dominated the fanbase’s attention, Richards has four goals and five points in five games. Not a bad start for a player that saw his standing collapse during the 2013 playoffs.
He might be one of the biggest benefactors of the Rangers decision to fire coach John Tortorella. Although new bench boss Alain Vigneault hasn’t initially been able to produce the results that the organization was hoping for, few players needed a fresh start as much as Richards.
So far he’s seized it.
“I feel like me,” Richards told the Bergen Record’s Andrew Gross after he fired a game-high eight shots on goal in the Rangers’ 5-3 loss to the St. Louis Blues last night.
There’s still a lot of time left for the Rangers to turn this around, but even if they can’t, Richards will have a lot of motivation to succeed. While he’s signed through 2019-20, the Rangers still have a compliance buyout left and they might opt to use it on Richards this summer.
They will have reason to consider it even if Richards has a great season because the 33-year-old’s roughly $6.7 million annual cap hit will start to look pretty bad as he moves further away from his prime. Additionally, if Richards decides to retire before his contract is over, the Rangers will be subject to a cap penalty.
So this is a potential contract season for Richards and so far it’s going well.
- Stars win one night after Peverley collapse, give Miller first Blues loss 4
- Crosby, Pens continue recent dominance of Ovechkin, Caps 25
- Terry Trafford’s body found in Michigan on Tuesday 8
- PHT Extra: What happens if the Caps miss the playoffs? 17
- Wings can’t afford regulation loss to Jackets 6
- ‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter 60
- NHL on NBCSN: Capitals fight to earn first win vs. Penguins in 26 months 11
- Vanquished: Isles stun Canucks with seven-goal third period 27
- Peverley asked to return to game following ‘cardiac event’ 23
- Peverley hospitalized, conscious after collapsing on Stars bench (Update) 19
- BLOCKBUSTER: Lightning trade St. Louis to Rangers for Callahan (82)
- Kings make splash, acquire Gaborik from Columbus (72)
- Chiasson ‘shaken up’ by Peverley incident, won’t dress for Stars tonight (72)
- Steve Moore remains shocked, disgusted about Todd Bertuzzi attack (71)
- ‘It’s obvious Tortorella can’t come back next year,’ writes Vancouver reporter (60)