Originally written on Blue Seat Blogs  |  Last updated 10/19/14
An increasingly rare pose; Brad Richards goal celebration. Who knew Brad Richards’ fall from grace would be so quick, so sudden? In what looks like an irreversible decline in both form and ability, Brad Richards offering up the occasional solid period here or decent game, won’t likely be enough to stop his premature departure from the Rangers. Not many people anticipated him fulfilling his free agent contract but few will have seen his potential departure coming so soon. Richards’ had a decent, if somewhat underwhelming first season in New York. In his defence, an abbreviated, compressed season with almost no training camp that was further hindered by the flu bug certainly didn’t help the veteran reach his expected level this year. Though, even with all that considered he still doesn’t look right. There is surely no way Richards sees anywhere close to the end of his contract. Much like Wade Redden, Richie’s deal is already almost untradeable (especially with Bob Gainey no longer running hockey operations in Montreal). Indeed, Richards’ deal is especially untouchable considering the reduction in the salary cap next season. The Rangers have already had their fair share of disastrous big name free agents. Redden, Chris Drury and Scott Gomez all arrived to much fanfare, yet all left the franchise in timid (at best) style. Richards’ would need a spectacular finish to his season – what looks highly unlikely – to defer discussion of the compliance buyout that appears to loom large. While his relationship with coach Tortorella and apparent respect in the dressing room speak volumes of Richards as a person, no one ever doubted Redden, or Drury in that regard, but they were still moved because they couldn’t perform on the ice any more. Richards likely needs some divine intervention or a summer reprieve to quickly find his old form before next season begins. However, there is one significant aspect that is worth considering: the Rangers’ reputation as a ‘classy’ organisation, in addition to their well documented past mistakes in free agency. The club has been chastised for all the big name mistakes in their recent past. While they have rebuilt the organisation impressively, predominantly through the draft, the media enjoys reminding the hockey world of the Rangers past blunders. The fact Richards will only be two years into his new contract this summer is a potential saving grace for the former elite center. While buying him out may be the right roster move, it would look bad on the franchise in respect to how they treat players (knee jerk reactions to bad seasons) and may damage the club in reputation and appeal (to other potential players). This may be more of a long term issue than the damage Richards’ potential lack of production would have on the club’s on ice performance. Someone that was once near the top of his trade seems to have become the new Wade Redden; a problem that might not go away in short order. The Rangers decision with how they deal with Richards may not be as clear cut as writing a cheque to write off a player. Tweet

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him

LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins


Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

Report: Ray Rice could be reinstated within next month

Earl Thomas: Refs need to stay out of it and let us dominate

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview: Will Giants or Royals win it all?

NFL tweets graphic of recipients of Manning's 509 TD passes

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.