Originally written on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 2/3/12

NEWARK, NJ - JANUARY 05: Brad Richards #91 of the Dallas Stars skates against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 5, 2010 in Newark, New Jersey. The Devils defeated the Stars 4-0. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

I feel like the span between these posts about Brad Richards has become smaller and smaller as the season passes by, which, for obvious reasons, is not a good thing for the Rangers' big free agent splash this past summer. Richards was brought here for several reasons, but the most prevalent included his playmaking abilities, his presence at the point on the powerplay and his leadership. While the leadership has been there all year long, the playmaking and powerplay production have not.

When asked about Richards, head coach John Tortorella repeatedly states that Richards needs more time to break out of his funk and get going. For example, when Torts was questioned on why he again used Richards in the shootout on Wednesday against the Buffalo Sabres despite Brad being 0-for-7 on the season, the coach said that Richards is the type of player who will eventually overcome his struggles if he continuously is put in the same situations over and over.

Well, at what point does repeatedly putting Richards in the same situations begin to hurt the team? This shootout thing is getting ridiculous, especially since one shooter could basically decide the outcome of the game. Richards’ attempts, to put it quite bluntly, are pathetic. He trots in and takes as soft of a shot as the goaltender has faced on that particular night.

And why, if Tortorella is for giving players multiple opportunities until they succeed, was Sean Avery never given the proper chance to show that he can perform on this team? And when he did, Sean still found himself being demoted. There’s a bit of hypocrisy going on there in the coach’s logic, no?

Richards now has just two points – a goal and an assist - in his last ten games, and as of late hasn’t even been noticeable on the defensive side of the puck. At least earlier in the season Richie was putting in work in his own zone and was scoring a clutch goal every now and then. But just two points in ten games for a playmaker? To me that’s simply unacceptable and if anyone else went on a slump like that, I can guarantee that they would be buried on the fourth line, maybe save for Marian Gaborik.

Faceoffs are about the only thing that is going for Richards now, which is important, but faceoffs didn’t make the top three in my list of why he was brought to New York earlier.

Maybe it’s the past relationship from the Tampa Bay years that has Tortorella so hell-bent on continuing to put Richards in key situations, including the powerplay. Richards’ performance on the powerplay this year, especially in recent games, has been ugly. He struggles to control the puck at the point, his passes are often off the mark and his lackadaisical attempts at gaining the zone on his own are worthy of a benching in my opinion.

Yet we still see him out there each and every time the Blueshirts are given the man advantage, and we still see him out there each and every time they go to a shootout. Tortorella needs to end his love-fest with Richards now and light a fire under the guy’s rear end, because two points in ten games is not worth a $60 million contract by any stretch.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve been pleased with the job Tortorella has done with the Rangers this season, but the Richards situation is stretching too long. Something’s got to give. 

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Three things to watch for on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Pierre-Paul could face charges for possession of fireworks

Report: Warriors trade David Lee to Celtics for Gerald Wallace

Rivers believes Gates' PED use was unintentional

Favre felt 'bothered' by Green Bay's decision to trade him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Ned Yost explains Alex Rodriguez’s All-Star Game snub

Donovan McNabb arrested for DUI after rear-ending car

It is progress time for the Philadelphia 76ers

Andrew Luck talks Super Bowl hopes and Patriots

Rapper rips David West for taking pay cut to join Spurs

Report: Kevin Garnett will return for 21st NBA season

Evaluating Tarasenko’s eight-year, $60M contract

Tigers should accept reality and become trade deadline sellers

5 running backs who could break the Heisman Trophy streak

Roy Halladay snaps selfie while getting a speeding ticket

National Basketball Players Association to set up heath insurance for retirees

'Corrected' 2015 MLB All-Star Game picks

NHL expansion process begins, application cutoff set for Aug. 10

Cardinals send rookies to Starbucks to pick up order

Mark Cuban fined for discussing Matthews and Jordan deals

Baseball's most productive low-authority hitters of all-time

USWNT's World Cup triumph four years in the making

Cubs announcer defends saying 'no-hitter' during game

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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

5 RBs who could break the Heisman Trophy streak

Watch to watch on Hard Knocks with the Texans

Tigers should become trade deadline sellers

JPP could face criminal charges?

'Corrected' 2015 MLB All-Star Game picks

MLB's 2015 All-Star snubs

Gronk, David Ortiz in latest Dunkin Donuts iced coffee video

The 2015 All-Star reserves & pitchers

Are LeBron, Cavs just playing teenage games?

Bucks threatens move to Vegas, Seattle

Bryce Harper to skip Home Run Derby

Video shows De'Andre Johnson punching woman

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

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

Company Info
Help
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.