The New York Rangers have made some big news by re-signing Henrik Lundqvist to a seven-year extension on Wednesday. This move could effect a lot of other players on the team. Dan Girardi, Anton Stralman, Ryan Callahan and Brian Boyle are all unrestricted free agents at the end of this season. But the player that the Lundqvist deal could effect the most is Brad Richards.
We all know how horrible Richards was last season. We also all know how he started off the season playing so well. But, recently his play has started to dip again. After scoring five goals in his first games, Richards has only scored two goals in his last 20 games. That simply is not good enough for a player that is making $6.6 million.
Also in his last 11 games he has only been a plus in one of those games. In that 11-game stretch, he is a -7. Richards is starting to show signs of why he was playing so poorly last season.
Glen Sather decided to give Richards another shot after his egregious 2013 campaign, but there are no more excuses now. Maybe Richards is just not that good anymore. Sure, he is moving his feet, but that doesn’t change the fact that it looks like he is skating in quicksand.
There are so many other holes the Rangers need to fill that you have to wonder if the Rangers are considering buying Richards out this summer. If the Rangers were smart, they would let him get hot again and then do anything in their power to trade him and his crazy contract. Maybe they can even include Michael Del Zotto in that trade and make it a real win for the organization.
It is clear the Rangers have some tough choices to make this offseason and maybe even before the trade deadline. If I were a betting man, I would put a lot of money down that Richards is not back in New York next season.