[ Update: literally minutes after I published this article it was announced that Brad Richards signed with the Rangers for 9 years and 6.5 million Cap hit - LOL - I don't care I am leaving it up, we can make comments and discuss why NOT signing him was good I guess]
I may be the only Flames scribe around here that actually endorses this move if it happens. I hope it does and I get a chance to make my case and explain why.
To my shock it appears that Calgary is on the short list for Brad Richards, who will decide today his destination.
Quisp over on our sister Kings blog thinks Richard's decision will come down to weather. The man has a point, straight up I can tell you that it was a huge factor for me setting up my life south of the border. The Kings will look unstoppable if they get Brad.
The Rangers are also in the running and as usual no one is upset about breaking the bank in New York. The Globe and Mail is also picking the Rangers as the leading contender but are they really that far ahead of the Flames as a team?
The Toronto Maple Leafs are the final contender but there seems to be not a whole of hope in Leafdome at the moment.
My take is if Richards truly wants a Cup he will take the discount and sign in L.A., but they are likely the lowest offer on the table.
Calgary and New York are probably close on money / term.
We know now how the Cap room got cleared via Robyn Regehr / Ales Kotalik but the comments on Alberta's Flat Provincial Tax rate are relevant and why Calgary can table an offer that in after tax revenue can actually be higher for Brad even if the gross offer is slightly lower than New York's.
I lived in New York and I can tell you straight up the taxes are off the charts. You don't just pay a state tax which is high even by Canadian standards but you also pay a New York City tax. Unless Brad plans on living in Connecticut the Flames are in the running as far as dollars go.
The bottom line is that Calgary can compete with New York for the best offer, don't think they can't. If it does come down to the Rangers and Flames, hopefully the hockey gods will intervene and right things due to the Tim Erixon slight.
No one knows what is going on in Brad's mind at the moment. Does he want to return to Canada? How highly does he value that, if it even really factors? How does he see the Rangers vs the Flames as teams if he actually goes to one or the other.
Does he see his presence on the Flames making them stronger than the Rangers. Torts or Feaster, who does he prefer, his former GM or his former coach?
Stay tuned, we will have an answer soon.