In a story on ESPN New York today by Mike Hume, a scout with the Tampa Bay Lightning said many would argue that it was Brad Richards who made Lightning captain Vinny Lecavalier the player he is today.
According to the story, many assumed Richards’ play would drop off after Lecavalier made the jump from CHL to the NHL. That didn’t happen.
“All [Richards] did was win CHL player of the year and lead his team to the Memorial Cup,” said the scout. “He was MVP and put up bigger numbers without Lecavalier. When Richards turned pro he gradually improved his skating to become a top NHL player. Many would argue he made Vinny in Tampa.”
I’ve been behind this move since it was signed. Sure the years are a bit long, but if Richards and Gaborik can bring this team to a conference or Stanley Cup final, or hopefully a Stanley Cup championship, no one will care he’ll be making $7 million at the age of 38.