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04-24-2011, 09:40 AM
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Originally Posted by DutchShamrock View Post
Kovalchuk has more talent and I guess you can argue that makes him a better player, but anyone that doesn't believe Richards is a better component for winning teams is in denial. I'd rather have Zetterberg or Datsyuk over Malkin, but I think Malkin is an overall better talent.

I was against Gaborik and Kovalchuk. But I'm all for getting Richards. I shouldn't even have to go in depth on this, some guys are amazing players and other guys help you win. I said in prior years to wait for the core, have patience and strike a free agent when the time is right for both the team and the situation. I think this is that time.
I wanted Kovalchuk because he was available and there wasn't even a guarantee Richards (*or any other #1C) would hit UFA in the foreseeable future (the fact Kovalchuk is younger also makes him more attractive -- although not entirely, in light of the contract he signed).

That being said, Richards fits this team a lot better than Kovalchuk would've. Richards fills both of the team's biggest holes: #1 playmaking center and PP QB. If you have to overpay to obtain that, so be it.

EDIT: There are zero #1Cs slated to become UFAs in 2012. In 2013, Crosby and Getzlaf "could" become UFAs, but I think it's very, very unlikely that their respective teams don't re-sign them. They're both just too important to their franchises.

In the modern NHL, stars just don't become UFAs unless they want out of their current environment or carry significant baggage. Pounce when you have a golden opportunity like this. Maybe it doesn't work out, but it's the best chance we have to take the next step without gutting our core, and even if we were willing to gut our core to bring in elite talent, there is no guarantee that we could find a trade partner willing to move elite talent in return.

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