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06-16-2014, 09:13 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2002
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Coach Alain Vigneault said the decision had not been made on Richards, but that essentially is a matter of semantics.

The Rangers really have no choice. And it is more than the looming cap-recapture a few years down the road that will drive the call to end ties with the center one-third of the way into the nine-year contract he signed two summers ago.

The fact is, the Blueshirts do not have the space with which to accommodate a $6.67 million cap charge for a third-line center and ice a representative team, regardless of No. 19’s intangibles that actually were pretty darn tangible down the stretch and throughout the 26-game playoff run.
$53,187,500 committed to 12 players. Go ahead and put a roster together which includes Richards.

Absent Richards, there will be more responsibility on Derick Brassard in the middle. Chris Kreider, who came a long way in his official rookie season, will need to become more consistent. If, as seems likely, Brian Boyle leaves, the Rangers could use a youngster to fill his minutes. If Anton Stralman goes, the Blueshirts are going to need a young defenseman to step up.

“You have to,” Vigneault said when asked about the prospect of adding younger players to next year’s mix. “Look at L.A., with those two kids [Tanner Pearson and Tyler Toffoli] and [Jeff] Carter were probably their most effective line.

“Hopefully we’re going to have a couple of guys pushing on the door, knocking to get into our dressing room.”

One of them has to be J.T. Miller, the 21-year-old center who just could not earn a standing role in New York this season. The Rangers need him, with his combination of speed and size, to stake a claim to the third-line center role next season.

Miller did not show up in New York last September until the day training camp commenced. Most players returned to skate together at least two weeks before camp opened. His absence did not go unnoticed by his teammates. Next year, it is critical Miller be noticed for other reasons.

If I were Sather/Gorton,I would have told JT Miller to wake the **** up. Get your ass into NY in late August. When the veteran players on the team arrive in NY to start skating,we want to see you there. Get your ass out of Pittsburgh. Then Miller suffered a hamstring injury when camp officially started. Stop playing beer pong.

“I know what my role would be coming back here,” said Boyle, likely looking for a two- or three-year deal in the range of $3 million to $4 million per. “In the playoffs and on a team that’s going to win in May and June, it’s an important role. But everybody wants to score more goals.”

Stralman was a top-four defenseman for the past two seasons, and is likely looking at an open-market value between $4 million to $5 million per on at least a three-year deal, if not longer.

Both players will get more term with those dollars. Boyle wants a bigger role.

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