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"Hockeybuzz Stars blogger"
Ft Worth, TX • United States • 23 Years Old • Male
Brad Richards is making a ton of money. Richards is also the owner of the worst +/- in hockey. Richards also makes perfect sense for Dallas. It sounds crazy, but I've talked myself into wanting this potential trade to go through. I feel that the best way to justify this is to look at the short term benefits vs. the long term benefits.
Brad Richards is the owner of a Conn Smythe trophy. In the 2006/2007 playoffs Dallas' main issue was goal scoring. Richards has 47 career points in 45 career playoff games, and would be the top centerman Dallas needs. He also plays the point on the powerplay which will lead to a later point regarding Modano. Picking up Brad Richards for the rumored return, Boucher and Smith, would set up other moves that could improve the team significantly. Jussi Jokinen's undefined role would become even more undefined making him expendable. The other thing to consider is having an elite playmaker like Richards is a waste without getting another shooter to go with him. Michael Ryder anyone? Hagman/Richards/Ryder would be a sweet 2nd line.
The long term issues take a little more consideration. The Stars' 1999 Stanley Cup core is ancient and nearing retirement. Mike Modano and Sergei Zubov will be gone after this season or next. Mike Heika mentioned this on the radio earlier, and I've been thinking it for a little while. Mike Modano could be done after this year. Brad Richards could step into that role and be one of the faces of Dallas hockey.
The retirements of Modano and Zubov that are coming up in the next 2 years will free up a lot of money. Boucher moving to Tampa in the deal frees up cash also. Mattias Norstrom leaving frees up more money to be used for this. Modano is 3.45 per, Boucher is 2.5, Zubov is 4.33, and Norstrom is 4.25 against the cap along with 2 mil in cap room. That is plenty of money to afford Richards, and pick up Ryder at the deadline for the year, at least. With Modano out of the picture soon Dallas would likely have to fill the hole he'll leave via free agency. Is Brad Richards for 3 years really worse than Briere or Gomez? I'll take Richards for 3 years.
Basically I'm drinking the Brad Richards kool-aid. I don't want that to be the only move, but it's a fine start. They don't need to destroy the whole roster, but getting a player like Brad Richards can only help. The main thing to look at is Richards' playoff history. The team needs to go for it now while Zubov and Modano are still around. They owe it to the both of them to give it a solid run in what could be their last.

Filed Under:   Dallas   Stars   Richards  
February 25, 2008 11:38 PM ET | Delete
Yeah, but Richards makes about $8 mil a year. I don't know what Dallas' cap situation is but man that's a lot of money for a second line center. Besides, why would you want to screw up the teams chemistry right now. The Stars are playing without arguably their best player (Zubov) and they're the only team right now that is playing better than the Ducks. The Stars are also the only team that scares me going into the playoffs. They have the Ducks number. We can't seem to beat you at home or in Dallas.
February 26, 2008 12:01 AM ET | Delete
Dallas is 2 mil under the cap, and I think Richards would cost 3 mil the rest of the way. Moving Boucher in the deal makes the cap hit this year nothing. The thing about the chemistry is that while the top line has great chemisty, and Modano's line seems to be getting it, the 2nd line feels forced at times. I love Hagman, but I still think Jokinen is a man without a defined role. Inserting Richards into Jokinens spot, and using Jokinen/Miettinen to get a top notch winger would best use their assets I think.The main point though is the playoffs. Richards thrives in the playoffs, and Dallas needs more playoff performers.
February 26, 2008 12:33 AM ET | Delete
I have to agree that the Richards trade make more sense now than when the rumors first came out. One thing I would miss is the consistency in goal. Both Turco and Smith move the puck well and the defense don't have to change much when either goalie plays. If the trade happens, please don't give up draft picks.
February 26, 2008 12:51 AM ET | Delete
The goalie situation is one I was thinking about too, but in the playoffs if Turco goes down the whole ship is sunk. What is the backup goalie going to play, 4 more games? I'll risk those 8 points if it means we get Brad Richards.Tobias Stephan wasnt too shabby either in his 1 start.
February 26, 2008 1:04 AM ET | Delete
You make a lot of good points in here. Richards might not be a bargain, but if i were a GM I would rather have Richards over 95% of the players in the league. With the exception of Crosby, Ovechkin, Kovalchuk, Lecavalier, and a couple more players, I think Richards value is top notch. And the Gomez and Briere comment is dead on man.
February 26, 2008 1:31 AM ET | Delete
Bouch was activated today hmmmmm...
February 26, 2008 10:21 AM ET | Delete
Apparently Mike Heika and I have a mind meld....he wrote a similar blog for the dallas morning news yesterday extolling the virtures of picking Richards up. Go us.
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