I’m not exactly breaking any news by pointing out that some members of the media have a problem with Mike Richards. They question his production and his leadership. They push aside his injury as if it were nothing. When his teammates defend him, it means nothing to reporters. All this because he gets annoyed with dealing with them every day.
Pushing aside the argument of whether or not we should keep him (we should!), who would we replace him with? I don’t think anyone would argue for addition by subtraction. Simply getting rid of him will not make the team better. When healthy, he does everything for us, and does it well. So sending him off for some cash or draft picks and reshuffling the lines won’t make us any better. So that leaves us looking for a trade.
A deal like he one involving Jagr going from Pittsburgh to Washington doesn’t make sense for us because that’s pretty much a salary dump. That makes sense when you’re building a team and need to free up some money for a signing down the road. We’re not just a contender, we’re a perennial favorite. We would need a move to help us right now. So therefore, we’re looking for other players that are good right now.
So we’er asking other teams to give us a player that can score goals, play defense, lead by example, and do all of the little things right. And they have to be on the younger side too. So the question is, why the hell would they part with that player? The only way somebody gives up that type of player is if he is a step below Richards. And why exactly do we want a downgrade?
What if we decided to get a different kind of player, like a pure sniper. That’s fine, but look at this list of the top goal scorers from this regular season. Nearly all of them are good all around players, and it wouldn’t make sense for their teams to get rid of them. We could go for defense or goalie of course. But again, who is going to give up a stud defenseman that could be a cornerstone for a long time. I don’t want a one year veteran for rent. And I believe in our goalie situation, as long as Lavy doesn’t go apeshit again and turn the carousel on.
As far as stripping the C from Richards goes, that’s another stupid idea. Who would you give it to? Pronger, who’s on the verge of retiring any season? Giroux, who got called out this season by Prongs for selfish play? Briere, who is great on offense, but doesn’t lead enough in his own end? JVR, who was benched in the regular season? We’ve got plenty of good, vocal players that lead the team in various ways. But none of them do EVERYTHING the way Richards does. I don’t care one bit if he never does interviews and completely blocks out the media. I only care that he gets along with his teammates, and helps this team win. He doesn’t owe us anything except a full effort to be the best player that he can be.
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