Center, New York Rangers
New Contract: nine-year, $6.67m/yr. cap hit
At long last we come to the No. 1 guy, the grand poobah or the big shiny trophy of this year's free agency, if you will.
Brad Richards was hailed as the biggest name in the talent pool, but really this one was over before it even started as Richards made it so obvious he wanted to play for New York that the announcement of the deal really came as very little surprise.
When you give the Rangers the final say on whether or not they want to match whatever offer you're given by another team, yeah it's pretty much a done deal you're winding up in New York.
And while Richards is glad to be out of Dallas after two disappointing years out of the playoffs, I really don't think he knew what he was doing when he decided New York would be the best place to get him a Stanley Cup before the end of his career.
I know the Rangers and I know their tendencies. Not only do they love to drastically overpay one player every summer, but they have a pretty bad recent history of either drastically underachieving and missing the playoffs completely or semi-underachieving and making the playoffs only to be ungracefully dumped in the first round.
This year is not looking too different.
While the Rangers are really hoping adding Richards to the top line that already boasts hot-shot Marian Gaborik will give them a dangerous first line (which it probably will if Gaborik can stay healthy), but beyond that, the Rangers depth still has some question marks.
Even more questions can be asked of the defense which has not re-signed Bryan McCabe, the lone veteran, and lost Matt Gilroy, one of its brightest young prospects, to free agency.
All of this leads me to believe Richards will see a slight drop in his numbers the first year and New York will have no more success than they're used to having next season, either missing the playoffs or making it by the smallest of margins and getting booted out in a first-round loss.
When all is said and done, I'm willing to bet Glen Sather and the Rangers will be asking themselves why they agreed to pay Richards a whopping $12 million per year for the first two years of the deal when Steven Stamkos is making two-thirds of that and scoring nearly double the goals.
Predicted Statistics: 25G, 42A, 67P, 21:00 min. per game
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