Tell me exactly which part of his wish list Richards checked off in signing with New York? Coming in eighth place with no part of their team elite (no I don't overrate Lundqvist), Richards didn't place himself with a contender. New York City with probably the Giants, Jets, Yankees, Mets, and Knicks all bigger deals than the Rangers isn't a hockey market. And in spite of that last fact, it isn't an easy media to play for either. Richards turned an eighth to tenth place team into a fourth to sixth place team that might see the second round if he doesn't completely suck.
But I don't even completely trust that to happen. In making his decision based on destination and money I have to question Richards' desire to win. I think he just wants to collect a fat paycheck in the twilight of his career, maybe cripple another team along the way and ride into the sunset. The guy already has a Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe trophy to his name, what more does he have to play for other than a hefty retirement package?
I think the chances of various outcomes look like this:
- 10% - Richards is a great addition.
- 15% - Richards is average/doesn't impact the Rangers negatively.
- 20% - Richards gets hurt or his effectiveness declines sharply due to age.
- 20% - Richards's effectiveness declines sharply because he doesn't give a shit.
- 35% - Richards's effectiveness declines sharply because of a combination of the following: he doesn't give a shit, is getting older, tunes Tortorella out because he doesn't give a shit, the Rangers just aren't that good, or the NY media tears him apart. After weeks of "Why Does Brad Richards Suck?" articles, Patrick Kaleta, Robyn Regehr, Matt Cooke, Brooks Orpik, Milan Lucic, or one of a dozen Flyers/Islanders exacts a mercy killing.