So No Richards? That’s OK.

5

Now that the Brad Richards frenzy is over, we can calmly and cooly look back at it. (I hope?)

The Sabres didn’t want to pay (or perhaps overpay depending on your opinion) the money it would’ve taken to sign Richards. They knew roughly what he would command in the market and had their backup plans.

So no Richards.

 So No Richards? Thats OK.

Do we really want Richards anyway? He already won a Cup so how hungry can he be for another? And he besmirched the Cup with a crustacean. Everyone knows the only food that should go in there is chicken wings.

A simple text and an innocuous one, it turned out. For those unfamiliar with the line, one of the princesses of the Pegula dynasty, Jessie Pegula, tweeted the words “so no richards”. The tweet was quickly deleted and @jlpegula said it was a butt tweet. Ok, sure. No one was buying it, but she did her best to cover for what could potentially have interfered with signing the biggest name free agent in this year’s market.

I for one thought it was cute and wouldn’t have really changed anything. She had inside information yet the deal wasn’t going through at that point.

But was the deal for Richards really ever going to go through at all? After the smoke cleared, another report came out that Pegula and Regier didn’t go up to Mississauga to visit Richards and his agent after all.

“We had plans to go up to Mississauga to meet with him,” Regier said. “As the day progressed and even with the number of clubs that were in line to speak with Newport Sports, we really got into a time pressure situation where we had to make a decision. We felt very strongly about Ville, and we felt that it was important to make sure we didn’t allow a quality player like him to slip by us.

It doesn’t sound like the Sabres really wanted Richards that badly after all. Actually sounds like they wanted Ville Leino more and they went for it.

 So No Richards? Thats OK.

Richards also risked taking the Cup for a ride on a jet ski. Well, actually that's pretty cool. After all, it had a life jacket on.

There are a couple things I take away from this.

One is that Richards is 31 and has concussion history. Richards had success in Tampa Bay, even winning a cup but that was with a stacked team. In the last 4 years with the Dallas Stars, his team has made the playoffs only one time, although they did make it to the 3rd round that year. Richards is called a “point a game” guy, but look at his plus-minus (click to embiggen):

Screen shot 300x216 So No Richards? Thats OK.

Only during one year, Tampa Bay’s Cup victory, did Richards post better than a +3. Darcy’s mamma didn’t raise no dummy. He knew the Sabres could spend their money much more effectively.

The other takeaway is this: the Sabres aren’t going to be completely honest with the public. Even in this amazing new Pegula era, we can’t expect complete transparency and honesty. They have to play games with other teams. Disinformation, confusion, misdirection… it’s the art of war and every other team is the Sabres enemy. If we can use tactics to get other teams to pay more for free agents, we’ll do it.

So the Sabres probably weren’t really even in the Richards race to begin with. Even if they were, Richards could join the growing line of expensive Rangers free agents that just haven’t panned out. He may even look a bit like (dare I say his name) Timmeh.

So no Richards?

Nope, and that’s just fine.

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5 comments
ScottyMCSS
ScottyMCSS

Morrison, Madden, and Drury would be easy to sign for little money on incentive based contracts. I believe Drury is best left out - his play now would shock Buffalo fans - but Madden is a shut down guy that we need to continue to solidify our "System."

qwicwted
qwicwted

I have no problem resigning Drury - although I would probably give him more of a performance based type of contract. In all honesty - I really like the look of the Sabres right now, but I also think they need a veteran presence - someone who knows what it takes to win albeit a Gold medal or Cup. I also wonder what Pominville's status is on his injury. I know a lot of people are unhappy with Boyes, but you know he helped us get to the playoffs last year and he was playing center, not his natural position. Hecht - hit with nagging injuries again - but he can score from ackward angles and will get in the mix. I think our biggest upgrade is not having Grier and Neidermeyer - they were just too slow and late to the play. But, I don't mind resigning Drury or getting someone like Morrison.

Jonahan
Jonahan moderator

Yeah, qwicwted I too am warming up to Brendan Morrison. As Scott said in http://buffalosabresnation.com/2011/07/08/silence-is-blue-and-golden/, Madden might also be an option. Maybe neither is a huge physical threat, but could be a 3rd line center. And hey, how about Drury? He also fits that 3rd line center w/ veteran leadership role, assuming he can skate. Ya never know, and that would make for a great story.

qwicwted
qwicwted

John, I also thought this and agree with you. Perhaps it was my wishful thinking, but I sure didn't want Buffalo to go after Richards - not for double the money. I like the Leino pickup and believe that we all saw his potential during the playoffs and last year. He's young, versitile, has grit and energy and is willing to dig in the corners - aside from that - he is healthy. I think he complements our current lines and most importantly, he seems to show up versus not knowing which Timmy we get each game. I keep wanting to see Retired next to Mike Grier's name, but if we are looking for a veteran center - how about Brendan Morrison - he comes cheap and had a good year last year.

qwicwted
qwicwted

@ScottyMCSS There is a saying - "never go back" and I'm sure you are right on Drury - that is why I would rather sign Morrison or even Madden. Although at 38, Madden might be wearing down a bit and we have suffered through that with the diminishing skills of Neidermeyer and Grier last year.

Last year, Morrison had 43 points in 66 games while Madden had 25 in 76 games - both respectible - and Morrison was paid $725K while Madden was paid $1.25MM. Funny thing - Neidermeyer was paid $1.25MM and scored 19 points while Grier was paid $1.5MM for 16 points - interesting isn't it?

So, I'm good with either Morrison or Madden.

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