Gaborik and Richards Among Top Right-Wings and Centers

Yahoo.com’s Puck Daddy blog ranked two Rangers, Marian Gaborik and Brad Richards, in the top-25 right-wings and centers in the NHL going into the 2011-12 season.

Gaborik came in at No. 6 among right-wingers, and according to Sam McCaig, Richards’ arrival on Broadway could bring some hardware to Gaborik this season.

“If this Brad Richards thing works out — and if he can stay healthy — there’s no reason Gaborik can’t challenge for the Rocket Richard Trophy as the league’s top goal-scorer.”

Richards finished at No. 13, as McCaig hints the pressure of his nine-year contract could be difficult to live up to.

“No pressure, Brad. It’s just New York City and a $60 million contract.”

The rankings had Anaheim’s Corey Perry as the top winger and Pittsbugh’s Sidney Crosby as the league’s top center.

McCaig is dead on with Gaborik. This is a former 40-plus goal scorer who now has an elite center compliment him on the first-line, something he’s never had in his career. If all goes according to plan, Richards and Gaborik should be one of the top scoring duos in the NHL for several years to come.

For Richards, I party agree as well. I don’t think he’ll have trouble playing under the contract, but others have tried and failed in the past. I think his background in juniors, Olympics and Stanley Cup finals will surely ease the pressure as he’s been in these situations before, but you can never know until they start to play the games in October.

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