The contract is front-loaded, and here is a breakdown of all nine years thanks to TSN’s Gord Miller: 2011-12: $12 million ($10 million signing bonus and $2 million salary); 2012-13: $12 million ($8 million signing bonus); 2013-14: $9 million; 2014-15: $8.5 million; 2015-16: $8.5 million; 2016-17: $7 million; 2017-18: $1 million; 2018-19: $1 million; 2019-20: $1 million.
At around 4 p.m., Richards, GM Glen Sather and head coach John Tortorella held a conference call with the media. All reports courtesy of Andrew Gross at Rangers Rants.
Richards, 31, said deciding on the Rangers came down to several factors, including location, the organization’s tradition and stable ownership, something he did not have in Dallas with the Stars.
“To play on an Original Six team, I haven’t been able to do that,” said Richards. “Stable ownership, that’s kind of bitten me a couple of time. Original Six, as a hockey player, they’re special to play for. To see an owner do what it takes to do to win. To see how Torts operates. I know it works. It reminds me of what he did in Tampa. At the end of the day, it’s the right fit for me.”
Richards said he did not expect frenzy and bidding war come, and it is difficult for a player to come to a decision.
“The hardest part going in is there’s only going to be one place you’re going,” he said. “That’s part of the job. It’s not easy to say no to people who are talking terms and offers being made. It’s very flattering.
“I never said it openly but getting back East was important to me,” he continued. “I’ve got a grandfather who’s 93, he still watches every game. He wasn’t too happy about that West Coast stuff.”
Richards said he is looking forward to the pressure that comes with the territory of playing in New York. He also said playing against this Ranger team last January was one of the toughest games of the season.
One of the biggest question marks for Richards was his health after he sustained a concussion mid-way through the season, which limited him to 72 games in his final season in Dallas.
“I finished the season feeling great,” said Richards. “I’ve been training now for six weeks. I’m way ahead of any other training schedule I’ve been on. My body felt great, my head felt great so I got at it pretty quick.”
Richards also said he’s comfortable coming to New York because of several familiar faces in the organization. “Obviously knowing how Torts and how he operates [helped the decision],” said Richards. “Fedotenko, I won a Stanley Cup with him. Sean (Avery) I knew and away from the game. It helps coming to a team, a city, all things, they all factor in for sure.”
Next up, Tortorella quotes.