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02-15-2013, 11:40 AM
Join Date: Feb 2007
Originally Posted by
So, two years ago, the team was mediocre, barely snuck into the playoffs, and lost immeidately. The biggest roster change they made the following summer was adding Brad Richards. Last year, the team went to the conference finals despite lacking truly ideal linemates for Richards.
Yeah, what a horrendous addition he's been.
No doubt, he's playing quite poorly so far this season. The vitriol toward him, however, is being magnified by the abysmal PP. He's one reason the PP has been dreadful; he's not the only reason.
I'm willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. He's never succeeded based on his physical skills, so I have a hard time believing that he just forgot how to play.
The fact remains that thanks to the backwards manner in which this team was constructed, thanks to the fact that this team has continued to fail to develop a homegrown #1 center now going on over 30 years, there was basically no choice but to sign Brad Richards two summers ago. Unless y'all wanted this team to remain a mediocre bubble team for two years waiting for the possibility that Ryan Getzlaf will be available.
This is how I feel. His importance to the team cannot be understated or minimized. This is a sport (much like baseball) based on minimizing failure, not maximizing success (like basketball or football). A player with the skillset of Richards does not just suddenly forget how to play overnight. He's been playing poorly, exceptionally poorly in the neutral zone (so much so that last night in the second period on a breakout with Richards open at the redline, Gaborik carried the puck zone to zone which is out of character for him and I think speaks to how many of Richards' teammates also notice his struggles there this season) but as one of the few truly skilled two-way forwards we have, he's got to get right if we're going to get anywhere. Scratching him or dropping him in the depth charts is not the answer. Maybe short term, but this season and next is all about the big picture, not a 4 game stretch.
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