Jun 17, 2014, 1:04 PM EST
Pat Morris, the agent representing Rangers forward Brad Richards, has spoken to Glen Sather in the wake of New York’s Stanley Cup Final loss to L.A.
Based on what he’s heard, Morris has some optimism that Richards will be a Blueshirt next season.
“Gut feeling, it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s kept,” Morris told Sportsnet’s Fan 590 on Tuesday. “Glen was pretty positive about Brad’s role this season, especially after [former Rangers captain Ryan] Callahan left.”
Though he admitted potential bias given he was speaking about his client, Morris pointed to a number of reasons why New York would, and should, keep Richards in the fold. He said Richards’ 51 points this year would’ve made him a top-three scorer on “around 20″ NHL teams (I did the math, and that number’s actually 14 teams) and said that, through the first three rounds of the playoffs, Richards was lauded for his leadership and essentially filled the role of New York’s vacant captain position.
But then the Stanley Cup Final happened.
Richards’ numbers in the five games against the Kings were ugly — no goals, one assist, minus-4 rating and a demotion midway through the series. It’s something Morris alluded to in speaking with Sportsnet.
“After Game 2, [Richards] is an automatic buyout and ended up on the fourth line,” he said, referring to how quickly perceptions of his client changed.
The biggest issue, of course, has nothing to do with Richards’ regular season or playoff. It’s all about the money — both his hefty $6.6 million cap hit (combined with the fact the Rangers have 11 players to sign) and the potential cap recapture penalty for his back-diving contract. Richards’ nine-year, $60 million deal pays $57 million in salary in the first six years, and just $1 million over the final three seasons — so, should Richards retire prior to fulfilling the duration of the contract, the Rangers would be hit with gigantic penalties:
1/2 Lots of talk today about #NYRangers Brad Richards. Here’s a look at his annual cap recapture penalties, by retirement year.
— CapGeek (@capgeek) June 4, 2014
2/2 As follows: 2014: $2.167M x 6 2015: $2.966M x 5 2016: $4.166M x 4 2017: $5.666M x 3 2018: $5.666M x 2 2019: $5.666M x 1
— CapGeek (@capgeek) June 4, 2014
It’s something Morris acknowledged, noting the on-ice part of the Richards decision is completely separate from the financial part.
“It’s in the Rangers’ hands,” Morris explained. “[If it’s] a hockey decision I think they keep him, if it’s a business decision they might not. There’s not really any pleasant ways for the Rangers to look at this.”
Feb 1, 2015, 3:22 PM EST
It was a close call.
Feb 1, 2015, 2:27 PM EST
St. Louis killed the five-minute major.
Feb 1, 2015, 2:12 PM EST
Could be a very tough loss for the Blues.
Feb 1, 2015, 1:45 PM EST
He already has two on Sunday.
Feb 1, 2015, 12:47 PM EST
Watch some hockey before a certain big game.
Feb 1, 2015, 12:39 PM EST
Andrei Vasilevskiy gets recalled in his place.
Feb 1, 2015, 12:18 PM EST
Pittsburgh continues to navigate injury challenges.
Feb 1, 2015, 11:50 AM EST
Time to hit the brakes on that rumor?
Feb 1, 2015, 10:37 AM EST
St. Louis is 9-0-1 in its last 10 games.
Feb 1, 2015, 9:37 AM EST
A big hip check and three assists from the defenseman.
Feb 1, 2015, 1:41 AM EST
Got a little help, too. Quick whistle on Toews chances.
Feb 1, 2015, 12:55 AM EST
Stopped 31 of 32 shots for the win.
Feb 1, 2015, 12:07 AM EST
No call. Got a little testy out there after that hit.
Jan 31, 2015, 11:17 PM EST
Boston maintaining their hold on a Wild Card spot.
Jan 31, 2015, 10:23 PM EST
Maybe February will be better?
Jan 31, 2015, 9:44 PM EST
Battle of Alberta isn’t what it used to be.
Jan 31, 2015, 8:57 PM EST
Scary moment, but he has stayed in the game.
Jan 31, 2015, 8:27 PM EST
Goal No. 715 of his career.
Jan 31, 2015, 8:14 PM EST
Short-handed, too! *Thumbs up*
Jan 31, 2015, 7:43 PM EST
Starting Sunday, these teams will play each other three times in 16 days.
- David Backes ejected after boarding, bloodying Karl Alzner 2
- Video: Shattenkirk injured, won’t return after collision with Ovechkin 1
- Ovechkin becomes fifth player to start career with 10 straight 30+ goal seasons 2
- End nearing? Lightning waive Nabokov 2
- Leafs scoring slump hits historical low 23
- Video: Rangers’ Lundqvist takes puck to the neck 10
- Zamboni driver arrested for DUI, allegedly cleaned ice surface while drunk 18
- Mike Richards trying to make the best of being sent to the AHL 15
- Price leads Habs past Caps with second straight shutout 12
- Report: Rob Blake would be Brendan Shanahan’s first choice to replace Dave Nonis 5