New York Rangers Should Avoid Taking on Bloated Contracts
On Friday the New York Rangers bought out the contract of 34-year-old center Brad Richards. The decision will cost the team approximately $20 million, but will be money well-spent as this should be a learning experience for the team’s front office about what happens when you forget the past.
According to multiple sources, the team used their compliance buyout on Richards in a move to free up $6.67 million in cap room for next season. The move comes after only the third season of the veteran’s nine-year contract with the Rangers. Although pricey, the team’s decision to cut their losses was the right one.
Prior to the lockout-cancelled season of 2004-05, the New York Rangers put together an All-Star team. Unfortunately, it was nothing more than Throwback Thursday photo opt which resulted in a bloated payroll mess of big-name under-performers. Players such as Eric Lindros, Pavel Bure, and Alex Kovalev milked the Rangers dry as they played well below expectations and/or didn’t play at all. By the time 2005-06 season began, the team had rid themselves almost entirely of the ill-fated contracts and returned to the playoffs for the first time since 1996-97.
The Rangers made the playoffs in all but one season since the lockout-cancelled season, but have still been plagued by bad contracts. In 2009-10, the Rangers missed the playoffs. The Rangers wasted payroll on under-performers such as Chris Drury, Wade Redden, and made a trade for Olli Jokinen. The Rangers would dump these players en route to a trip to the Eastern Conference Finals in 2011-12.
The Rangers signed 31-year-old center Brad Richards to a massive nine-year contract prior to the 2011-12 season. Notice a pattern? Like many other big-name acquisitions for the Rangers, the deal did not pay off and the team found themselves cutting their losses.
With the Rangers needing money to re-sign impending free agents such as Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello plus the high cap hit/low productivity of Rick Nash, hopefully the team can resist the urge to bring in more bloated contracts in the forseeable future.
Killorn Could Be Championship Spark Plug for Bolts
Alex Killorn may not be a superstar, but what he brings to the Tampa Bay Lightning cannot be understated. He could ultimately be the missing piece to the team's Stanley Cup puzzle. Here's why. Read More