I mean, he is easily the most talked about off-season move made by the Chicago Blackhawks, but at just $2 million for this season, what exactly should we be expecting from Brad Richards?
The Brad Richards that is on the Hawks is in fact the same Brad Richards that has 2 91-point seasons, 5 years apart, with 2 different teams. It is also the same Brad Richards who’s days of 91-point seasons are forever a thing of the past, as he is on the natural decline of a hockey player’s career.
Oh well, who cares?
Obviously it would be nice to have the offensively dynamic Richards, but he doesn’t really exist anymore. The Hawks have the offensively above-average/solid defender Richards, which is still very good. Not only is it “very good”, but he is the Hawks answer to the 2nd line center dilemma that has plagued the Hawks for years.
Yes, he is not the same dynamo with the puck that he used to be, but he is a perfectly complimentary center to Patrick Kane‘s skill-set. Most centers that Kane has played with in his career were either old and unable or a totally different type of center, who’s skill-set was not conducive to a top NHL offense.
He can’t score as well anymore, but he still knows how to score.
As long as he fits well with Kane, on the second line, it won’t matter how washed up Richards may be. All that would matter is if he helps Kane light the lamp like a mad man.