Thread: Player Discussion: Brad Richards Part III: The Buy-Out!
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05-23-2013, 02:12 PM
Richter Scale
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Moving this here from the GDT:

Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
I'm perfectly fine with scratching him, but I actually don't think that it is a good idea to buyout Richards this summer - despite his dog **** play this year - unless there is a solid plan in place for who they are looking to replace him with. I'm not seeing any options out there, and severely doubt that Sather has any sort of plan in the works. Here is to hoping he proves me wrong.

In my mind, it is better at this point to hope this year was a fluke that came about from the lockout shortened season and that he returns at least close to form next year. If that doesn't happen, buy him out next summer.

And then re: "Richards' replacement is Step and Brassard" --

Originally Posted by Richter Scale View Post
I think this is wishful thinking. I really don't expect Brassard to maintain the level of play he has since he got here next season. His entire career has been full of inconsistent play staggered with bursts of brilliance. I've been warning since the trade, that though I liked it, people needed to temper their expectations. In a 2/3C tweener role, he's been great. Assuming he can be a good, exclusively 2C after just 23 games is a big leap.

And though I think Stepan may have a better shot at maintaining his performance next year than Brassard does, I also am not convinced that he comes back and replicates a near point per game pace next year. He's still developing, so who knows - but I think it is a huge risk to take to rely on him to continue this... He basically doubled the point pace he put up in any other season; that is a huge jump. It is also a contract year for him. Dubinsky's contract year ringing any bells? For the record: I don't think Step will regress like Dubi did after his contract, but I'm not convinced he is now a permanent ppg player based on one half season.

Understand, I'm not saying either are bad players -- I just think this is the kind of **** our fanbase (and our GM) does way too often: overrate players based on a limited sample size and some recent good performance. Kreider had a nice playoffs last year, and everyone - including our GM it seems - was slotting him into the lineup this year. He ends up not replicating that, and suddenly we're up ****'s creek with an unbalanced roster and missing pieces that need to be added at the deadline.

Bringing all this back to Richie though -- On one hand, I'm not terribly confident that he can rebound next year. On the other, I think it is reasonable that he may have been thrown off by a lockout shortened season and can at least partially rebound next year. In the end, I think it may be better to take that chance than to rely on Stepan and Brassard to continue the far and away best performances of their careers so far and getting a 3/4C. You've still got the option to buy him out next offseason.

At the very least, I'd like to know Sather has a plan - which I am not confident he does - for what to do to fill the hole in the lineup if he buys out Richards. I'm not saying he should go out and get another high-priced UFA (please god, Glen, don't go after Ribeiro), but I'm not confident that this team will be competitive with 1C: Stepan, 2C: Brassard, 3/4C: ??? 3/4C: Boyle. Seems like playing with fire.

Edit: It should also be noted, that Brassard has a sh % well above his career average since joining the Rangers (and a ridiculous sh% of 20% in the 13 regular season games he played with NYR). Stepan, likewise, has a sh% a decent amount higher than either of the other two full seasons he has played in the NHL. Just something to keep in mind.

Last thing I'll say is that if it is being done this summer as opposed to next because of the concern about injury... I get it. Not a big fan of it. But I get it and can accept it.

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