When we think back to where the New York Rangers were last season and where they’re at now in the Stanley Cup Final, Brad Richards’ time in Manhattan sure has changed.
While he’s been instrumental to the Rangers success this season, just last year then head coach John Tortorella made Richards a healthy scratch against the Boston Bruins for Games 4 and 5 of New York’s second round loss to the Boston Bruins.
Now he’s centering the second line between Carl Hagelin and former Tampa Bay Lightning running buddy Martin St. Louis and, as Dan Rosen of NHL.com shared, Richards is happy to be back on track.
“It was the lowest point in my career,” Richards said prior to Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Final. “You never want to be on the outside looking in when your teammates are battling in what I consider the best part of hockey — the playoffs.”
In these playoffs, Richards has five goals and 11 points in the Rangers’ 21 games. He’s far off the Conn Smythe Trophy-winning pace he had in 2004 with the Lightning, but his contributions have been big and coach Alain Vigneault has given him the opportunity to succeed.
Of course, even that success hasn’t killed talk of him possibly being bought out this summer, but that’s the nature of the business. For now, he’s happy to have the Rangers in the Cup Final and to have a shot at winning it all again.
The Arizona Coyotes have returned Dylan Strome to the Erie Otters of the OHL.
Strome, 18, was the third overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.
The 6’3, 185 pounder was hoping to stick with the Coyotes this season, but the team decided to take the conservative approach with their top prospect.
Strome will look to build off an incredible junior season that saw him score 45 goals and 129 points in 68 games.
Strome seems to be taking the demotion in stride.
The team also announced that they’ve assigned goaltender Louis Domingue and forward Matthias Plachta to their AHL affiliate in Springfield.
Domingue, 23, had a 1-2-1 record with a 2.73 goals-against-average and a .911 save percentage in seven games last season.
Plachta, a free agent signing, will begin his first pro season in North America. The 24-year-old had 14 goals and 35 points in the German League last season.
The Red Wings have placed Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm, Danny DeKeyser and Alexey Marchenko on injured reserve.
Placing these players on I.R. opens up four more roster spots for Detroit.
The Red Wings have suffered an incredibe amount of injuries heading into the season.
Datsyuk (ankle) is expected to be out until November.
DeKeyser (foot) is going to miss three-to-four weeks, while Helm (concussion) and Marchenko (lower-body) are considered day-to-day.
The team also announced that they have reduced their training camp roster to 27 players on Sunday.
Top prospect Dylan Larkin remains in camp for now.
Coach Jeff Blashill told reporters that the 19-year-old has looked good, but a final decision hasn’t been made on where he will play this year.
As for Larkin, he’s just fed up of living in a hotel.
“There’s been so much speculation and so many questions, and no one really knows,” said Larkin. “Maybe the coaches know, but just to find out where I’ll be living or what’s happening — I’m kind of sick of the hotel. It would be nice to know what’s going on.”