The Brad Richards sweepstakes are over. The prized free agent will sign a reported 9 year – $60 million deal with the New York Rangers today.
Richards turned down less money to reunite with head coach John Tortorella and he is now Broadway bound.
The finalists in the Richards sweepstakes were believed to be the Calgary Flames, Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings.
TSN reports that the Flames offered Richards a 9 year deal worth around $65 million. Calgary was a surprise suitor but due to Richards close relationship with GM Jay Feaster they garnered serious consideration.
Offers from Toronto and the LA Kings were also believed to be in the $60 million range.
The addition of Richards is a big haul for the Rangers who have desperately needed a No. 1 center to matchup against the likes of Pittsburgh and Philadelphia in the Eastern Conference.
The Rangers are backstopped by one league’s top goaltenders and Henrik Lundqvist and have a young evolving blueline led by Marc Staal.
A hope from the Rangers is that the addition of Richards, makes Marian Gaborik who has three left on his deal, into a consistent 40-goal scorer and game breaker.
Richards will carry a cap hit of $6.5 million and he’s expected to earn over $50 million in the first 5-to-6 years of the deal.
The Rangers still have to sign key RFA’s Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky and they are expected to do so.