Thread: Speculation: Richards' future on the NYR
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07-06-2013, 07:46 AM
  #93
OverTheCap
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JC704 View Post
My problem with Richards is that even though the production didn't fall off a cliff, everything else he does on the ice just seems sub-par. His skating is solid, but he doesn't forecheck well enough, nor was he better than Stepan this season at setting up other players. He was below-average to bad at times on the PP and just looked one play behind when I watched him play.

The stuff about being "mentally weak" is a load of crap though. He won a Conn Smythe in Tampa and made Dallas an incredibly respectable team despite being in perpetual transition for the last 5-7 years or so. He's a tough guy and legitimately took his struggles last year to heart.

I just think in the end it's about putting the best team on the ice and I think Richards' 45-60 points this season combined with his overall play will pale in comparison to Stepan's emergence as this team's #1 and Brassard's potential. It's all about value and Stepan and Brassard, from what we've seen in a small sample size provide better value for this team moving forward.
Agreed. I've mentioned before that with Richards, the issue is not production. He will always find a way to put up points even if he is playing poorly. In addition to what you said, he also made a ton of turnovers and his decision-making was off. I don't think his skating was particularly good, but then again, that's never been a strength of his.

I'm assuming he'll show up to camp in better shape than he did this past year, so hopefully his skating will improve and he won't be huffing and puffing after every shift. But if he doesn't make smarter decisions with the puck, it's going to be very hard for him to "bounce back."

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