I will admit, I thought that the idea of adding Brad Richards to the Sabres when free agency opens on Friday was very, very slim. In fact, I still think that but at least GM Darcy Regier is giving some hope that the Sabres will try to land the coveted free agent.
When talking to the media on Monday, Regier mentioned that things have changed where the organization's focus originally was on drafting and trades, the Sabres now have the option of going out into free agency and signing the players they want. Regier was hopeful that the team could sign both forwards and defensemen on Friday.
That brings us to the most coveted player at free agency, Brad Richards. Richards will be looking for another raise from his $7.8 million/year that he had with the Stars on his last contract. That should put his contract starting at least $9 million a year, but to get the contract to be cap friendly, it will have to be signed for at least seven or eight years. The Sabres have $12.5 million in cap space with 15 players signed, which means that if the Sabres are going to land Richards, his contract is going to have to come in with a cap hit between $5-7 million.
It appears that Richards has voiced his interest that he would want to go to the Rangers and the Rangers have a little more cap flexibility with 14 players already signed and cap space at $22.25 million left. They could be able to squeeze Richards in with a cap hit at $8 million/year and still be relatively alright to sign the rest of their players, even more so when the Rangers take Drury's contract off the books some how.
While it would be impressive if the Sabres could land Richards and the team needs a number one center, if the team can't land Richards don't blame the front office for not trying. In some cases, it just can't be done.