Brad Richards #19 of the New York Rangers celebrates his second period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins at Madison Square Garden on November 29, 2011 in New York City.
(November 28, 2011 - Source: Nick Laham/Getty Images North America)

Rangers haven’t told Richards if he’s being bought out


Rumored as a potential compliance buyout candidate since being made a healthy scratch in the playoffs, Brad Richards told the New York Post he doesn’t know what his future with the club is.

“I would love to be back but I haven’t been told anything,” Richards told The Post. “That’s the truth.”

The 33-year-old has seven years remaining on his nine-year, $60 million contract at annual $6.67 million cap hit — one of the richest and potentially costliest deals in Rangers franchise history.

Assuming the club decides to buy him out, that is.

While his 2013 regular season wasn’t awful — 34 points in 46 games — Richards’ production completely fell off in the postseason, scoring just one goal in 10 games before ex-head coach John Tortorella scratched him for the final two games of the Boston series.

Of course, much has changed since then.

As mentioned, Totorella is now the ex-Rangers head coach — he’s been replaced by Alain Vigneault — and the Post reports Vigneault is “more likely than not” to give Richards a chance to redeem himself in 2013-14.

If that happens, the Rangers would leave the door open to using a compliance buyout on Richards next summer.

Measure of revenge? Red Wings bottle Lightning

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In some ways, it really felt like their first-round series.

For all the talent on both ends of the rink with the Detroit Red Wings and Tampa Bay Lightning, each squad can really smother opponents defensively when things go that way.

Through two periods, the two teams were very quiet. Things really picked up when Justin Abdelkader unleashed a big hit, a moment that injected enough life into the proceedings for the Red Wings to eventually build a 3-1 win.

Maybe they’re slipping under the radar a bit compared to previous iterations of the team, but it’s interesting that the Red Wings are now undefeated in three games.

They’ve been impressive at times, too, outscoring opponents by a combined score of 11-4.

Call it a refreshing time after Mike Babcock or merely carryover from a subtly solid run last season, but either way, the Red Wings may just be able to keep up their end of a brewing rivalry.

Hands of gold: Connor McDavid scores his first NHL goal


Taking three games to score your first NHL goal isn’t a big deal, unless you’re someone like Connor McDavid.

The mega-hyped wunderkind must feel relieved to finally find the net, as he tied tonight’s Edmonton Oilers – Dallas Stars skirmish with a 2-2 deflection goal, which you can watch above this post’s headline.

To no surprise, there were plenty of reactions, including Pierre LeBrun’s tweet (which inspired part of this headline).

Of course, there were the inevitable Wayne Gretzky comparisons:

Interesting thing you might not consider: Stars fans will have to stomach this one even more frequently than that time Patrik Stefan biffed that empty-netter (also against the Oilers):

McDavid may have also delivered his first questionable check, too: