They've done it before, and they did it again.
Brad Richards headlined NHL free agency this week, and once again the New York Rangers made a play to turn the former Conn Smythe winner to Broadway. The 31 year-old center was the most coveted prize in this year's free agent class, and as he does so often, GM Glen Sather felt the need to make a play for him. It makes the fans happy at the time, yes, but was it in the best interest of the organization from a hockey stand point?
The Rangers needed a center to play with Marian Gaborik, and they got it in Richards. But he'll by 40 by the team his contract is up, and has concussions in his past. He's been right around 75 points a season, his best coming in 2009-10 when he had 91 with Dallas.
So Ranger fans cheered and praised Sather for signing Chris Drury and Scott Gomez back in 2007, and those same fans are shaking their heads now. Gomez was shipped to Montreal after posting 96 points in two seasons as a Ranger, and Drury's contract was bought out a few weeks ago. Throw in the disaster that is defenseman Wade Redden, who's collecting over 6 million dollars a year playing in the minors, and Sather has a track record for these sort of fiscal debacles.
Ranger fans are rejoicing now, but will this move prove positive in the long run? They'll have to get through the first round of the playoffs early and often in his tener, or come 2016, fans will once again be scratching their heads as another disastrous contract is bought out.