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Richards on signing with Chicago for less money: ‘You want to win’

Jul 1, 2014, 10:31 PM EDT

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

A decade after winning a Stanley Cup with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Brad Richards found himself in a championship round again in a losing cause with the New York Rangers. He showed that he’s willing to sacrifice money and term to try to make it back a lot sooner by agreeing to a one-year, $2 million deal with the Chicago Blackhawks today.

It doesn’t sound like it was that tough of a decision for a player with a lot to prove not that long after being bought out by the Rangers.

“I’m pretty confident that I can still play a lot of hockey in this league,” Richards said, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. “I just went to the Stanley Cup Final. You get the itch when you get that far — you want to win.”

Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman seemed impressed that Richards, 34, was willing to take a smaller deal in order to improve his odds of another championship.

“It’s a testament to Brad and how badly he wants to win,” Bowman said. “I don’t doubt that he left more money and term on the table.”

Considering how tight Chicago’s cap situation is – and will almost certainly be with Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane needing new deals by next offseason – it’s unlikely that Richards will be with Chicago for very long. Still, it’s a great opportunity for the veteran forward and an opportunity for the Blackhawks to ease much-hyped young forward Teuvo Teravainen into a possible second-line center mode (rather than throwing him to the wolves in a brutal Western Conference).

Rangers GM praised Richards for his great influence on his team’s young players. That would just be a bonus for the Blackhawks, as merely buying Teravainen time – and providing added scoring touch – could make this deal one of July 1′s biggest bargains.

Richards has some work to do to prove that he can still be a difference-maker as a top-six forward, though.

  1. luz56 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:36 PM

    Less money my ass… You just got bought out for millions for poor performance

    • shaundre93 - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:48 PM

      Poor performance based on his contract. If he can put up 55ish pts again and not be a liability/help Kane score come playoffs hell be the best bargain of the season. Expectations and circumstances can really change ones view of a player

      • lordfletcher - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:51 PM

        55 points sure… But was really bad most of the year in all zones. Luckily for him, he is going to arguably the most talented team in the league.

    • blomfeld - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:06 AM

      “Re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic … nothing more and nothing less”

      The bottom line is that Chicago’s ‘window of opportunity’ has now slammed shut and so they can add all the ‘flotsam’ they like, as it won’t make a difference in the end. Oprah’s ass will continue to expand and Twinkle Toews will likely soon invest in a ‘sports brassiere’ equity position. Therefore we SC Champion LA Kings no longer view the Blackhawks as a serious threat. Instead, we look to the likes of Colorado & Minnesota when it comes to ‘legitimate’ future rivals.

      • hawksin5 - Jul 2, 2014 at 1:31 AM

        Ya know, blom. You’re a lot of things, but I didn’t think stupid was one of them.

      • ngsm31 - Jul 2, 2014 at 10:11 AM

        What you’ve just said is one of the most insanely idiotic things I have ever heard. At no point in your rambling, incoherent response were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this room is now dumber for having listened to it. I award you no points, and may God have mercy on your soul.

      • martyks55 - Jul 2, 2014 at 2:45 PM

        Wow. I’ve never heard that one before. Rearranging the chairs on the Titanic. Did you lay awake all night to come up with that one? We’ll see how things go next season. My guess is, Crawford simply needs a few games off to be fresh for the playoffs and the Blackhawks drill you guys. Be my guest, go ahead and view the Hawks as no longer a rival. We should be so lucky that the Kings would do that. It wold be at their peril.

  2. DED - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    $2 million from the Blackhawks + $1 million from the Rangers = $3 million. Is it that much of an ego blow to accept such a “small” paycheck? Does it suck to take a 55% pay cut? Sure, but you’re playing on a contender that’s already won the cup twice in the past five seasons and were just in the conference finals.

    If Gaborik can take a pay cut to play for the Kings, can not Brad Richards do the same for Chicago?

    • esracerx46 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:37 PM

      Your numbers are a little off. The Rangers are paying Richards over 3million this year alone to not play for them. They’ll be paying him over 20 million over the next 12 years.

      • DED - Jul 2, 2014 at 8:57 AM

        Sorry. I went by PHT in this article. But doesn’t that strengthen my argument? He’ll be making $5 million to play for a contender this coming season. That makes for an even smaller pay cut.

  3. crazemastercraze - Jul 1, 2014 at 10:47 PM

    They would have been better off signing Craze B. Laze

  4. capsnbohs23 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    This was right up there with the Hemsky signing for my favorite moves of the day. I can see richards playing well with that explosive offense. If he puts up 50pts i say thats a good season

  5. chiefbear - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:34 PM

    Richards had a bad year, with only 51 points.

    Chicago’s 2C last year, Michael Handzus, had 16. Total. For the year.

    If he can be productive, this will be a great signing

  6. esracerx46 - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:41 PM

    Richards put up 51 on a team where the leading scorer had 59 points. Stepan had 57. Everybody loves Stepan, yet Richards is a bum. He will be playing with better linemates, and if healthy has a good chance at 60points.

    • moarjam - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:48 AM

      We liked Richards. His buyout has created a huge hole in our lineup. Most would have loved to have him back. Just not for 6 more years at almost $7 million per.

      This contract is amazing. Anyone who thinks this move doesn’t make Chicago MUCH better is kidding themselves.

  7. chiefbear - Jul 1, 2014 at 11:51 PM

    Now we need him to call ‘Melo and explain to him what a great idea it is to sign for less money to have a better chance at winning a championship

  8. canada2014gold - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:38 AM

    I give some respect to Richards

  9. bennydabeata - Jul 2, 2014 at 9:48 AM

    “You already got paid”

  10. chitown26 - Jul 2, 2014 at 12:07 PM

    He’s way better than Handzus, that’s for sure.

  11. redrising16 - Jul 3, 2014 at 6:45 PM

    sharp-toews-hossa
    saad-richards-kane
    shaw-teravainen-smith
    bickell-morin-kruger
    versteeg-regin

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