: Larry Brooks:
Gaborik excited to team with Richards
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07-16-2011, 01:00 PM
Join Date: May 2011
Originally Posted by
Richards actually averages 22 goals a year but at a cost. He shoots over 250 times which is a shooting pct. of under 10%. If he plays on the same line as Gabby something has got to give. Either he must shoot less or take away from Gabby's production. My reason for not wanting him was,.... I don't think he will be the answer for Gabby everyone might think. Plus the cost is too high for an unknown pairing. And it's not the 6.6 mil,... it's the 9 years for an if. I just don't think they will be the dynamic duo we hope for. But I hope I'm wrong. Even so,... It wouldn't be a disaster if he played on a different line. Then they both get their shots. We know Gabby can score without a center. He has done it his entire career. Richards by far would be the best center Gabby has ever played with. And with Torts, you know no line ever stays together for long. So that LW position will likely be a merry-go-round with everyone taking a ride.
The thing with Avery I like, is him controlling the puck down low, he's strong on the puck, and finding either Gabby or Richards bomb of a shot. I like Richards, I just think the 9 years at a high number that was needed to snag him is too high a cost. It didn't cost us this year as we will sign everybody. But you watch 2 or 3 years from now we will be screaming about his contract, maybe sooner if he scores only 16 goals.
If the cap goes down, so will Richards' cap hit. When it continues to go up later, I actually think it will matter much less than it does now, and its not extremely large as it is now. Frankly, if Richards only gets 15 goals, I won't be terribly disappointed. He wasn't brought in here to score goals. I'm excited because, well, if Gaborik can score 40+ goals and at a PPG pace every year since the lockout (barring last year), he can probably do so much with more with the elite center he's never been able to play with. If he doesn't click, he'll see second pairing defenseman on the second line and Dubi and Cally will go with Richards to become 65-70 point players. I'm ok with that, too. Richards' role on the PP is invaluable too and I wouldn't at all be surprised to see him play the full 2 minutes like he did in Dallas.
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