I will not go into detail about Brad Richards‘ horrible year last season, since I have mentioned it in previous articles, but if you are a New York Rangers fan, or a hockey fan in general, you know it was pretty bad.
I give credit to Richards for taking the criticism and hate from fans like a man and being very professional, but what he said yesterday just irks me a little bit.
Richards told the media that he thinks new head coach Alain Vigneault will be more fun for him, meaning his more up-tempo and offensive style of play, when compared to former head coach John Tortorella, will be more fun for him.
How, I don’t know, because I feel the last thing he needs is an up-tempo offense, since he was slower than a slug last season, but I’m getting off track.
While I am glad he wants to have fun, he has to remember that this is New York, and we don’t pay people to have fun. We want to win, and for the Rangers to make a run at the Stanley Cup this season, which starts in a little over a month, Richards needs to have a bounce back season. There is just no other way around it.
I’m sure a lot of you are thinking that this guy is making a whole lot of nothing into a big deal, but if I were Richards, having fun is the last thing I would be concerned with after coming off a horrendous season.
His mindset should be all business, because not only will this season probably be his last as a Ranger (since the organization cannot afford to pay Richards any more of his monstrous, nine-year, $60 million contract), but his overall career maybe in jeopardy as well.
I mean, at his age, if Richards has the same type of year as he did last season, who is going to want to pay him anything?
He is now 33 years old, and last season he played like he was 43. Whether or not he was out of shape doesn’t matter, because it happened, and what’s done is done; but like I said, not only will this season be an important one for the Rangers, but also for his Richards’ future in the NHL. If I was in that position, the last thing I would want to talk about is fun.