The New York Rangers interest in bringing Brad Richards into the fold was much of the talk of last season’s trade market, but no deal was ever finalized to bring the 31-year-old center to New York at that time. According to Larry Brooks at the New York Post, Richards was the one who refused to come in a trade because of the asking price that Dallas was giving New York to move him.
Richards could have come to the Rangers last year at the trade deadline. But, according to an individual with knowledge of the situation, he declined to waive his no-move clause when he learned of the bounty (three Grade A assets) the Stars were demanding in return, not wanting the Blueshirts to be diluted upon his arrival.
While it is unlikely that Glen Sather would have met an asking price as high as the one Brooks is speculating about here, it is great to see that Richards knew he wanted to be a Ranger and decided to use the power of his no-trade clause to ensure that the team would be worth coming to for the long-term. It was a smart move for Richards given his stated desire to play for a contender, but not one that he had to make if he was thinking about things through a self-centered lens. This is another small example of how Richards is doing a lot to improve the Rangers off the ice through his leadership and the dividends it is paying on it. Think of this Rangers team if it was without Stepan or Anisimov from their forward core or if Dallas had demanded McDonagh be involved from defense.
Richards knew that he wanted to be a Rangers and he knew that he wanted to win. With those two focuses clear in his mind he was willing to wait an extra few months to relocate to Broadway and both sides are better because of it.