Re-iterating a post made earlier on the Dark Blue Jacket, one has to ask one's self if we really could pay too much for Brad Richards.
This guy has said in the past that he would consider Columbus. It gives Nash a peer on the top line. There will be times when he is injured, and the young players (Brass and RyJo, I'm talkin' to you) will have to step up.
Four years. Nash money.
Last few years - 72 points, 80 points, 56 points, 74 points. Play golf handicapper, drop the high and the low take the average, and you are talking a 73 point player. +1 last year. You want to help our defense? Plug the middle. Make a line that other teams fear. Save some of the freakin' wear and tear on Nash, because teams will not be able to concentrate on him.
Move your LOFT tiers. Make the CBJ a better team automatically.
We are now in competition with Detroit for a puck moving, power play quarterback defenseman. Looks like my man crush on Bieksa will go unsatisfied.
Make this team better Howson. On July 1, sign Brad Richards. You can get this done.
Building our defense is going to be extremely difficult through free agency, and very, very costly. It would help almost as much to upgrade our center core, shove everyone down a level in the lineup, and give young Brass a bit more time to develop.
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY (sorry to shout) GIVE BRASS A TOP TIER CENTER TO LEARN FROM!!! That in itself is worthy of a significant investment. If its important for Brass how important would it be for Ryan Johansen to have a top tier centerman to learn from?? The potential return on that investment is huge!
Funny thing about that learning. Michael Peca was supposed to be a great face off man. Manny Malhotra was a 55-56% face off man before Peca came, but improved to a 58-59% face off man after practicing with Peca for a year or two. How much is it worth to have Brass practice with Brad Richards every day??
Most importantly, this type of deal has an air of 'doability' about it. This guy considered Columbus before. He is not looking for a crazy atmosphere. This is a guy that might like Columbus. And I think Columbus would like Brad Richards.
Think about him on the power play. Ummmmmm. Now wipe your chin.
Do this Howson!