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03-28-2011, 03:15 PM
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Originally Posted by Chainshot View Post
Devils advocate: What happens when Richards decides he's not coming here?
Well, yes, this is the most likely scenario.

Originally Posted by Chainshot View Post
Is Richards a guy who comes to Buffalo for $7.5 million per year? And is Myers going to take less than $5 million per (if I'm his agent, I'd be interested in making Pegula keep his word about contracts... and shop for an offersheet)? I have doubts on both of those.
I think a lot will come down to term with Richards. Ultimately, I think that $7.5 will be the approximate cap hit. I'm not sure any team will throw an eight-year offer at him, though. This has been discussed before, but if Buffalo comes with an offer of 8 yrs/$60m, with approximately $55m due over the first six years of the deal, Richards absolutely has to contemplate that deal. I see it as a win-win. Buffalo gets a much-needed upgrade at a top-6 center position, Richards gets a boatload of cash over the first six years of the deal, and Pegula gets the protection on the back end of the deal if Richards' skills decline and the organization wants to buy him out late in the deal.

Knowing how savvy Ted Black is, I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if the sales pitch is already being prepared. If Buffalo can hold off NJ, Philly, and Washington for the best record in the Eastern Conference, post-January 1, Black should--and probably will--make sure it's driven home that Richards would be joining Derek Roy as additions to a team that had a great final 45 games of the season. And if they can win a round, or even two, that'll be even better.

Whether Richards bites is questionable. But Pegula has the resources and commitment to make a run.

And, as I said above, you worry about the cap problems as they arise. The team will still have tradeable commodoties like Stafford, Pominville, et al., if the need arises.

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