After last night's 4-3 overtime win, John Tortorella defended Brad Richards and his decision to bench the Rangers alternate captain…
…Tortorella is 100% correct with his assessment that Richards does himself and the Rangers team no good playing on the fourth line. And with how poorly he's played, he doesn't deserve a spot in the top nine. Having said that, I think this series against the Bruins and an absolutely terrible match-up for Zuccarello and the Rangers might be better off with Richards and his playoff experience playing on the third line than the Hobbit. But as I said last night, real hard to change the line-up after a big win.
…this interview is vintage Torts. Amazing job deflecting the embarrassment of being a healthy scratch away from Richards and putting the focus on himself by saying the word "ass" in front of the media. Amazing how easily distracted the fourth pillar is.
Speaking of Richards, Katie Strang at ESPN.com describes the pros and cons of buying him out this offseason…
"The Cap Advantage Recapture Rule in the new CBA.
That rule penalizes a team with a player on a deal seven years or more in the event of early retirement for the "cap advantage" the team received while the player's salary was more than his cap hit.
In Richards' case, the Rangers would be penalized $5.6 million if he retired during the offseason in 2017, $8.5 million in '18 and a whopping $17 million in '19.
The Rangers would not be subject to these penalties if they exercise a buyout this summer or next. If they wait until next summer to buy out Richards, they run the risk of him sustaining an injury while playing during the 2013-14 season. Teams are not allowed to buy out an injured player."
…while I've been behind the idea of giving Richards another season before deciding to buy him out, if he were to injure himself next season the Rangers would be royally screwed. Solely for cap purposes, it might make more sense to amnesty Richards this offseason. God knows they could use the additional cap space ($13.5 million next season). Not sure even a guaranteed bounce back season from Richards would be worth the risk of not being able to buy him out if injured.
…any chance Richards voids his contract by retiring this summer ala Naslund?
Here's Tortorella's full post game presser…
Here's the players post game…
To watch video at Blueshirts United, click here.