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02-18-2013, 12:33 AM
Heart and Soul
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Brooklyn, NY
Originally Posted by
You could argue the big change was the maturation of our D especially McD's rise, Girardi raising his game further and even Stralman being a legit top 4 player added to Lundqvists best season.
The defense was a big factor, but the team was elite defensively in 2010-11, too, when those guys were younger. The 2011-12 squad was a little bit better offensively. Not better enough, but better. Richards (even with his underwhelming statistical production) made a significant difference on the ice, and you can be sure he helped Del Zotto produce.
Lundqvist's best season? It was easily the best, deepest team that Lundqvist has played with in the NHL. How exactly was his season better? All of his seasons are great, the success just wasn't there with below average or mediocre teams.
Regardless the problem is we signed him for good things yesterday but
it seems almost a certainty
that the near tomorrow and perhaps the present is Richards
very poor performing, overpaid, C which we have all too much familiarity with. If you feel he can regain some semblance of his form then obviously yea we have to keep him it'd be crazy to what go back to the Eric Cris era. But the worries about BR are very legitamate. Every1 raves about his brains, playmaking and passing but, and I admit my inexperience, no one seems to see it from him this year or much last year either. He doesn't seem to control the puck or dictate play, he has failed to QB our PP, I don't see him make many Def plays or break up anything in the neutral zone.
Based on what exactly is it almost a certainty? Also, past personnel mistakes have no relevance. Richards is not those players. Richards is his own entity.
No doubt that he has played poorly this year, but he wasn't as bad last season as some now seem to claim.
I just never notice him doing much of anything which makes the mistakes, the really dumb mistakes he has consistently made
, really stand out. I did say there's no WAY he can continue to play this bad this year but this seems to me a sign of what we are going to get and very soon from him. If so I would have no problem hitting eject
By this year, you mean three weeks into a lockout-shortened season with no training camp and Richards not playing in Europe.
If he doesn't turn this around I have zero rpoblem with cutting bait.
The last few years have proven that partly thanks to the cap good players will become available
and this is a team that only needs a few good ones not elite ones because even if it is built "backwards" it is built and it is capable.
In 2011, the only real top playmaking center available was Brad Richards. In 2012, there were none.
We have a strong, deep team. We have a couple of spots where we could improve, but if we got rid of Richards, we would have one glaring need: a top line center, and that role happens to be the most important role on a hockey team. Can you guarantee that we will sign Getzlaf? Or that Malkin will become a free agent in 2014?
Look to the future at the cap. It's a choice of retain BR and his underwhelming performance thus far or cut bait and have money to retain a combination of Staal, McD, Girardi, MDZ, Cally, Hank. (Some combination of them obviously 6.6 doesn't cover all of them) and with BR's length a mistake in keeping him has far reaching consequences that aren't worth it to me. It is possible that signing him like we did was the right choice but only because we got what we needed from him last year and have a no penalty escape route. Without the escape route this could easily turn and turn badly
I'm not sure I want Gaborik re-signed if he is looking for a long-term deal, and his salary would accomplish the job of keeping several of those players signed. IMO, Lundqvist and possibly Callahan will sign long-term deals at some discount to help retain other players. Some of those players aren't going to be worth keeping at the salaries they are going to command on the open market, anyway. Hopefully, they can be replaced from within. While we still aren't developing elite young talent often, we are producing solid NHL players consistently at this point, and we have a few players coming in the next 2-3 years that will be keepers. But do we have anyone in the system that can replace Richards? I don't see it.
We are fans and have no influence on anything that this team does so why is it stupid to wonder and discuss this? Other than the fact that you don't like the option? He needs to play like a 1C in order to be considered one and right now he's played like an old idiot. What will he be 2 or 3 years from now with multiple years to go? It's a legit discussion.
It would be a legit discussion late in the season if he continues to play this poorly. At this point, it's premature fantasy talk based on less than a month of play. It's the kind of jump-to-conclusions rabidness that has infiltrated the world of sports, and the effect hasn't been positive.
For what it's worth, Richards played one of his best games of the season against Washington.
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