A few weeks ago, Larry Brooks reported in the New York Post that some people within the Rangers felt as if they wouldn't be able to sign Brad Richards because of the contract he'll be after. This morning in the Post, though, Brooks reported that Richards is essentially the Rangers' to lose and that several executives from around the league said during the NHL Entry Draft over the weekend that Richards wants to be a Ranger.
"If I heard it once, I heard it a dozen times during this Entry Draft weekend in Minnesota: '[Brad] Richards told [X] he wants to come to New York.'
And this, too: 'Slats [general manager Glen Sather] is going to blow his brains out to sign Richards.'"
Brooks went onto say that he thinks the Rangers should only go to a five-year, $32.5 million deal to sign Richards, which is wishful thinking on Brooks' part. It will take at the very least six years to get Richards, and I wouldn't be surprised one bit if the Rangers have to go as much as eight years to secure the guy they're after. This latest story is a far cry from Brooks' story from a few weeks ago when he suggested that the Rangers should begin looking elsewhere and shift their attention away from Brad Richards.
It seems like these things change daily, but for what it's worth this report from Brooks goes along with what Jesse Spector reported in the New York Daily News last month, that the Rangers are indeed leading the race for Brad Richards.
It's believed the Rangers' biggest competition to get Brad Richards will come from the Maple Leafs, Lightning and possibly the Flyers.