What is Richards value
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11-27-2004, 11:35 AM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: St. Andrews
Originally Posted by
Richards gets absolutely no love on this board. He's probably our best prospect, but because he isn't 6'3, he's dropped a couple of spots. I'll say this. I bet Richards becomes another Sakic type player. I hear about how great Richards is defensively and all that other jazz, but what you never hear about is that the guy has awesome offensive numbers. He's an offensively gifted centerman and we've already got him pegged as a third line heart and soul. Hogwash. Mike Richards has the ability to be a first line centerman
given the opportunity. I say Mike Richards is just as untouchable as Jeff Carter, maybe moreso because Mike is the complete package.
i'm not "ragging" on him because of his size, but he isn't going to be a #1 center at the NHL level... and size is pretty much the reason. it is VERY difficult to play at the #1 center level as a small player. defensemen are simply too big, and the rules aren't enforced in a way that a smaller player can move around them with quickness, etc. to gain an advantage on them, unless they have somewhat unmatcheable speed/stickhandling... which none of the reports suggest Richards has.
look around the league at the centers that are performing well... they are either big boys, or absolute burners... or you got a guy like Sakic who has one of the greatest wrist-shots in the history of the league... not sure Richards falls into those categories.
disregarding any of that... presumably Richards is going to be playing for Hitchcock, do you really think Hitchcock is going to take a guy with Richards' supposed talents and turn him into a #1 center? the guy is supposedly a beast in the faceoff circle, excellent positionally, responsible in both ends of the ice, and potentially an excellent PK'er. sounds like a smaller version of Handzus... if you pay attention to how Hitch uses Handzus, he keeps him off of the #1 line so that he can absolutely abuse him on the PK, thus why Zeus ALWAYS seems to be out there when we are a man-down.
i hope i'm wrong though... i hope both Carter and Richards turn out to be #1 center talent, would be nice to have a Tampa-esque situation here so that they can feel my fear whenever our top two lines are out on the ice.
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