Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Rangers, Kings Acquisitions Shine Through Playoffs

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Stanley Cup Playoffs 2012: Rangers, Kings Acquisitions Shine Through Playoffs
Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
Brad Richards signed with the Kings this offseason to help the franchise win a Stanley Cup.

The New York Rangers signed center Brad Richards to a nine-year, $60 million contract this offseason, making the 32-year-old the highest paid player in the NHL.

Along with the ability to score and setup goal scoring winger Marian Gaborik, Richards brought the experience of winning both a Stanley Cup and a Conn Smythe trophy as the player judged most valuable to his team in the playoffs with the Tampa Bay Lighting in 2004.

Brad Richards proceeded to score 25 goals and 66 points during the regular season and now leads his Rangers with six goals and 12 points in postseason play.

On the other side of the country, the Los Angeles Kings acquired Philadelphia Flyers captain Mike Richards in a trade for prospect Brayden Schenn, power forward Wayne Simmonds and a draft pick.  While, Richards failed to match point totals established with the Flyers, he quietly amassed 18 goals and 44 points with the Kings.

Los Angeles continued bolstering their offense in a late season trade with the Columbus Blue Jackets, sending defenseman Jack Johnson and a first-round draft pick in exchange for high-scoring center Jeff Carter, a former teammate of Mike Richards in Philly.

One of the stories of the playoffs has been the play of Rangers rookie Chris Kreider, who suited up for the team after completing a second season with the Boston College Eagles.  Kreider has scored four goals and added two assists and thrown 22 hits in 14 postseason games with virtually no NHL experience.

Off-ice proficiency leads to on-ice results.  The acquisitions of these key players has both the New York Rangers and the Los Angeles Kings vying for a Stanley Cup.

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