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What does $20M get? For the Rangers, one point in the Stanley Cup Final

Jun 10, 2014, 3:50 PM EDT

NashRichards Getty Images

Here are the stats from New York’s three highest-paid forwards — Rick Nash, Brad Richards and Martin St. Louis — through the first three games of the 2014 Stanley Cup Final:

Nash: No goals, no assists, minus-3 rating.

Richards: No goals, no assists, minus-4 rating.

St. Louis: One goal, no assists, minus-4 rating.

Given the amount of money the Blueshirts have committed to this trio this season — $7.8 million for Nash, $6.7 million for Richards, $5.6 million for St. Louis — it stands to reason the club is probably expecting more production from its “big three.”

Just ask Richards, who deep-sixed the notion all they need is some puck luck.

“You don’t talk about getting bounces,” Richards said on Tuesday. “It’d be nice to have them, but you don’t just talk and hope they come. You score a goal at the right time that helps and then you’ve gotta create more, get to the inside more.

“They’ve turned pucks over, we’ve turned pucks over, but for some reason it seems like ours are finding a way into the net. Their turnovers, either there is a big save or something close. But that’s an easy way to look at it. We’ve gotta find a way.”

That Richards, Nash and St. Louis have failed to generate any offense this series is one of the reasons New York finds itself in an 0-3 hole. St. Louis, to his credit, was a pretty productive in the three previous rounds and leads the Blueshirts in both goals (seven) and is second in points (14); Richards has been less productive (11 points in 23 games), though hardly surprising given his decline over the last two seasons, and all the pending buyout talk.

Which brings us to Nash.

To say No. 61 has struggled this postseason would be a major understatement — his 10 points put him on par with Jussi Jokinen and Torey Krug, guys that were eliminated two rounds ago (or Nathan MacKinnon and Paul Stastny, who didn’t get past the opening round.) The style of play that saw Nash score 30-plus goals seven times — power, strength, ability to drive the net — has seemingly vanished; when Nash was put back on the Ranger power play late in Game 3 and created a scoring chance by driving to the middle of the ice, it was like watching an overwhelmed boxer land one really nice counter punch — an impressive flash, but one that wouldn’t change the outcome of the fight.

To be clear, Nash can’t be blamed for New York’s power play woes. He’s been largely absent from a unit that’s gone 1-for-14 this series — which brings us back to Richards and St. Louis, who’ve been front and center. Richards had an eye-popping 8:47 of man-advantage time in Game 3 while St. Louis had 4:38, yet the two could only muster four shots on goal.

“You got to finish in this game,” head coach Alain Vigneault lamented on Monday night. “It’s a performance-oriented business. Power play had some looks, but it didn’t finish.”

It’ll be interesting to see what, if anything, Vigneault does with Richards, Nash and St. Louis moving forward. He indirectly called out the Richards-St.Louis-Hagelin unit prior to Game 3 but stayed away from throwing his lines in the blender during the contest, suggesting afterward that putting Nash on the PP was about as big of a shakeup as he had in his arsenal.

That, really, might sum up the situation on the whole. Vigneault’s playing the hand he’s been dealt here; he’s gone the entire postseason without Nash and Richards contributing much offensively and St. Louis has now gone silent as well. Sometimes, that happens. It’s also why the Rangers are talking about puck luck and bounces and breaks needing to go their way — there just aren’t many other answers or solutions to give.

Still…for $20 million, you’d think they’d be getting more.

PHT Extra: Mike Halford and Jason Brough discuss what the Rangers have to do in order to make a comeback attempt.

  1. jacketsfan7 - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:00 PM

    Don’t pin this on St. Louis, Nash and Richards need to get their heads outta their asses. At Louis has been going since game one of the playoffs vs Philly

    • 19to77 - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      Also, Girardi picked a fine time to bring his worst game to the ice. So far two game-winners this series have involved mistakes from him – the Carter goal last night and that brutal turnover on Williams’ OT winner in game one. And those haven’t been his only errors by any stretch.

      • bwayblueshirt - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:35 PM

        That’s the truth. St Louis and Nash have been playing well all playoffs (Nash might not be on the scoreboard as much, but he’s been a cannonball out there without the puck and on the forecheck) but Richards is just out of gas. Torts was a lot of things, but not an idiot. Richards just doesn’t have enough legs to get to June. I’d rather see JT Miller at this point. Pretty sure Richards has completed more passes to LA than to his teammates. I wonder if we might be able to trade him? We’d have to keep a few million of his salary, of course, but it beats a flat buyout.

      • 950003cups - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:08 PM

        WHAT DOES $20M GET FOR THE RANGERS?

        Is the answer “UGOTZ” ?

    • blomfeld - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:52 PM

      WELL, IT’S CERTAINLY MORE THAN WHAT YOU CAN GET FOR 198 MILLION EH ?

      Just kidding Wild friends ! I’ve always had a soft spot for you guys, going all the way back in fact to the Danny Grant & Bill Goldsworthy days ! :)

      Nah, if you want to talk about ‘pissing’ away millions, then names like DiPietro (Islanders), Yashin (Islanders), Messier (Canucks) and Bryzgalov (Flyers) immediately come to mind … sad but true.

      • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Jun 10, 2014 at 10:16 PM

        Never can miss out on an opportunity to laugh at a 196 Million Dollars buying a -20 … don’t blame ya!

        Never gets unfunny.

        LOL

  2. canucks30 - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:06 PM

    Triple “0″ Club:

    St. Louis is old, Nash is overrated, and Richards is overpaid.

    • hosewater2 - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:28 PM

      Not being a fan of either of these teams, I am looking at the bright side:

      1. Cap going up a lot more than expected makes the offseason more exciting, especially for teams like VAN that are planning on major changes.

      2. The NYR freak appearance in the SCF only validates Glen Sather more, ensuring that Manhattan will be a dumping ground for overpaid washed up former- and neverwere-stars for years to come.

      • MichS - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:34 PM

        “Freak” appearance? Was there another conference or path they should have taken? They beat who they played to get there… that’s it. This series, if not for some key bounces and *ahem* bad officiating, could be 2-1 Rangers.

      • homerx - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:39 PM

        How many “washed up” players do they have? The core of this team is young and fast. nother “hockey fan” flashing his knowledge.

      • stakex - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:35 PM

        Yeah, alright….. freak appearance. The Rangers made it to the ECF two seasons ago, lost in the second round against a very good Boston team last year, and this year made it to the SCF. That’s a pretty damn good record, and in fact the Rangers are the only team in the East to make it to at least the second round each of the past three seasons. So obviously this is hardly a freak appearance.

        Also, unfortunately the owner of the Rangers has said that Sather had his job for life…. so it doesn’t matter if they win the Cup or miss the playoffs, nothing is going to change.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:50 PM

      Canucks30, I’ve been sayin’ Rick Nash is overrated for the past three years. Saw enough of him as a Blue Jacket to see that even on those bad teams, he didn’t stand out as much as a superstar should.

  3. 950003cups - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:14 PM

    That headline was rough! LOLOL

  4. hrudey - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:17 PM

    Shucks, I guessed two years of Bobby Holik.

    • 950003cups - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:36 PM

      LOL!! Another one of the great signings by the rags. Aren’t they still paying him?

  5. kyzslew77 - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    Those guys (particularly Nash) should just thank their lucky stars they’re not Russian or European. Don Cherry and the rest of the Canadian hockey media would be calling for their heads.

    • rsl22 - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:57 PM

      When Nash demanded to be traded to NY, every Canadian defended him saying over and over that it wasn’t Nash, it was the Blue Jackets.

      If it was Ovechkin that demanded to be traded (to one team only,) and then proceeded to put up 4 goals in 35 playoff games, he’d be crucified.

      But if you watched the game last night, you would hear announcers saying Nash needed more power play time and that he was playing amazingly.

      It’s absurd.

      • kyzslew77 - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        Yyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyup.

        To the credit of NBC’s in-game announcers, they are usually very complimentary of all players, nationality aside. But the studio team… different story of course.

      • flyboystransport - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:23 PM

        Nash didn’t demand to be traded to NY…..it was the only team offering what columbus wanted. Theyeah gm was in philly trying to sell him but wanted brayden schenn, Sean couture and 2 1st rounders and the flyers declined.

      • robocop3999 - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:28 AM

        Truth bro, Ovi would be crucified and I’m Canadian.

        Rick Nash is very overrated. Maybe even from the beginning. While he was in Columbus, he only made the playoffs once and that was because of Steve Mason brilliant rookie season. Look how much better Columbus got when he left. Id take Dubinsky over Nash right now. A lot of gms would too.

      • dueman - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:55 AM

        You know a lot of GM’s personally I take it, since you are speaking for them that is?

  6. nicofthenorthstar - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:33 PM

    What does $20M get the rangers?
    A trip to the Stanley cup finals, that’s what. A much better return on their investment than every team in the league except one. But hey, great point.

    • dueman - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:39 PM

      Finally, an intelligent, and realistic answer! The bloody media just loves to rip teams apart. They also just love a public that eats up everything they throw up. Win or lose, the Rangers have had a fantastic year, and those three are a big part of being where they are….in the Stanley Cup Finals!

  7. homerx - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    Yep, they better buy out Richards and I would not be upset if they at least shopped Nash around. I don’t want to be stuck with another player who can’t perform in the post season. This team has a very good core of young guys and some minor tweaks in the off season will put them in a good position to get back here next year.

    • micklethepickle - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:11 PM

      What happened to Nash? He was a great player with CBJ, but I feel like he has regressed big time since coming to the Rags.

  8. nicofthenorthstar - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:37 PM

    Besides, it’s not like a team from the eastern conference was ever going to stand a chance against the west. There were a good 6 teams, at least, from the western conference that would beat the best the east has to offer in a seven game series.

    • micklethepickle - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      Best comment of the day. I doubt any EC team outside of PIT/BOS would have made the playoffs if they played in the West. The Western Conference vs. the Eastern Conference is like the Chicago Bears vs. Englewood HS. Not much in the way of competition. But at least we got to see CHI/LAK – what a great series that was!

  9. tapefolie - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM

    Nash is just like a typical Canadian, vanishes when all is on the line. They just don’t have the motivation to win the cup!

    • dueman - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      Wow, that has to be the dumbest comment I have read on here yet. You do know that about 80% of the players in the league are Canadian, right? The Kings have 14 Canadians, 5 Americans, and 4 lets just say other for the sake of space. Try doing some research before making an idiotic comment like that next time…The same goes to all you other tools that are agreeing with him. Wow…

      • blomfeld - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:38 PM

        it’s not that many friend, more like 55% or so … nonetheless, we Kings have the most eh ? :)

      • kyzslew77 - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:40 PM

        The best part about PHT is how smart the commenters (like you) are.

    • McFaddensPulledHammy - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:56 PM

      Toews, Keith, Doughty, kills me to say but pre-concussed Crosby, Lucic, Chris Pronger (2010), Mr. Game Seven Justin Williams, Jeff Carter, Corey Crawford (2013). As a United States citizen, I even take offense to that comment.

      • kyzslew77 - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:40 PM

        Yeah but name one Canadian player who ever won the Cup and REALLY deserved it. You can’t.

      • blomfeld - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:54 PM

        Ken Dryden ?

      • nhstateline - Jun 10, 2014 at 7:45 PM

        Bobby Orr and Wayne Gretzke both deserved it. So did Maurice Richard, Mario Lemieux and Patrice Bergeron. And as for the Habs teams from the late 70′s filled with very deserving Canadian players, the list goes on and on…..

      • barkar942 - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:11 PM

        HEY BLOM! I gave you a thumbs up! Maybe you aren’t so bad after all!

    • hawkeedawg - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      Is that CanadiAn, as in all people from Canada? or CanadiEn, a Montreal hockey player? If you did in fact mean CanadiAn, you are an un-educated fool.

      • kyzslew77 - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:41 PM

        I think he means both, like Patrick Roy, and Canadian who played for the Canadiens but couldn’t win a Cup. Typical.

      • hrudey - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:21 PM

        I think you’re wrong. The Patrick Rwuah from the Canadiens never won and was a Canadian, but the Patrick Roy who played for Colorado was an American and a champion. I mean, Canada’s responsible for Sean Avery and Eric Lindros and Bryan Adams, though they have apologized for Bryan Adams on several occasions.

        Wait, was part of the contest actually believing the stupid stuff we typed? Crap.

  10. gbart22 - Jun 10, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Here comes the crazy over reaction crowd who will scream for all their buyouts

  11. langforc - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    Halford,

    Get out of here with the Nash bashing. You don’t lead the NHL in shots in the post season if you aren’t playing well. Also, he has played an extremely solid two way game all playoffs long, while goals are what win games (duh) they are not always indicative of how well a player is playing.

    I’ll give you Brad Richards, he has reverted back to the form that saw him be a healthy scratch last season.

  12. rpiotr01 - Jun 10, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    Bigger question it seems is, what kind of goalie does $8 million get? Because the difference between up 2-1 in the series and down 3-0 has been one goalie making the big save and one goalie failing to do so.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:32 PM

      ^ Yep.

  13. phtjoey - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:31 PM

    Regardless of these three forwards’ inability to accumulate points, the Rangers were not even supposed to make it to the SCF. Very few had picked them to make it that far let alone win the cup. AV was awarded a contract of $2,000,000 per year, and he delivered a deep run into the playoffs which brought in an excess of $18,000,000 into their coffers. Pretty good ROI and an extremely successful season to say the least. This run has revealed a few flaws at two levels; PP and 5 on 5. AV’s got a good d system, but now it’s up to Sather to provide more offense.

    • idonthavethebloodyoucrave - Jun 10, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      Being gifted with playing a couple teams that did not have their starting goaltender helps a lot with your playoff odds … just sayin’.

  14. hawkeedawg - Jun 10, 2014 at 8:38 PM

    kyzslew77, what the hell are you talking about a Canadian that has won the cup and deserved it?!!! And yes, Patrick Roy won a cup with Montreal. I don’t usually like to get into Canada vs. USA topics as I think we are both great countries, but no NHL team has ever won a Cup with less than 50 % Canadians and 95% of them have Canadian Captains.

    How about the NHL having 95 % Canadian players for the first 80 or so years that Lord Stanley’s Mug has been around. Before the 70′s, there were some US players, but very few Euros. When there were only six teams, Canada had enough talent to fill all six rosters, now with 30 teams, we can’t, simple math really.

    During the 80′s, NHL teams were finally (legally) allowed to get Euros to come and play, and the league is better off for it. The dichotomy of the league today is what makes it the best league in the world.

    Canada still supplies the most players to the NHL while being out-populated some 1.2 billion to 35 million. (Europe 742 mil, Russia, 144 mil, USA 316 mil).

    kyzslew77, Please don’t get me wrong, I love the US and have relatives throughout, it is a truly beautiful country, but I can’t resist replying to your posts.

    If you are going to post, do some research first please.

    • dueman - Jun 11, 2014 at 2:08 AM

      Well said.

    • kyzslew77 - Jun 11, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      All of those “facts” you just posted are fake. I checked and Snopes confirmed. No Canadian team has ever won the Cup. QED.

  15. deezenucks - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:20 PM

    Name one Canadian who “won” a cup?! Is this a trick question? Pretty much every single team in the league is stacked with Canadians.
    Can’t win the big game?
    How about back to back Olympic golds?!
    Wow…

  16. maritime85 - Jun 10, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    NYR …. 2nd place gets paid too tho! Woooooo go rangers

    • 950003cups - Jun 10, 2014 at 11:47 PM

      so does last place

  17. billiam55 - Jun 11, 2014 at 1:07 AM

    nash has been making great plays and been noticable. but richards my god. BUY OUT.

  18. papajack1259 - Jun 11, 2014 at 7:41 AM

    Why does The King Henry get a pass? The Rangers have scored enough goals to make this a series Come on Hank, stand up and own up, Quick threw a shut out if Henry had one it would make a difference He is highly over rated and this series on the big stage proves that

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