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Brad Richards Top Five Moments with the New York Rangers

Last Friday, the New York Rangers used their last compliance buyout on Center Brad Richards. After signing a nine year/$60 million contract as a free agent back in 2011, his time on Broadway came to an end just three years in to the deal . Don’t feel too bad for him, because he’ll get to collect over $20 million over the next 12 years, including whatever new contract he will sign this summer, as part of the buyout.  He’ll end up receiving $51 million of the initial $60 million dollar contract.

There was no doubting that the Rangers needed to end this contract while they still had the chance. His regular season and playoff numbers weren’t terrible (with the exception of the 2013 playoffs – one goal in ten games) in his three seasons with the Rangers, but they weren’t on par with his contract, and trending downward. They needed more out of someone who was supposed to be their second line center. The 2004 Conn Smythe winner will certainly land on his feet somewhere, and he did have some stand-out moments during his Blueshirt tenure. Here are the five best:

5) Putting Down The Desert Dogs At The Last Possible Second

The Rangers were playing their last non-tri-state area road game before Christmas in 2011, and it looked as if they were heading to overtime against Phoenix. Richards made sure they got to the airport on time:

4) First Career Hat Trick

Brad Richards made his NHL debut in the 2000-01 season with the Tampa Bay Lightning. 13 years later, he finally caused some hats to be thrown on the ice in Buffalo:

3) Ending the Penguins Season

The Rangers looked as if there season was over after Game Four of the Eastern Conference Semifinals against the Pittsburgh Penguins.  They were down 3-1, and looked atrocious. After a Game Five road blow-out, and a Mother’s Day Game Six victory, it was back to the Steel City for a decisive Game Seven. Richards completed the unlikely series comeback midway through the 2nd period:

2) Winter Classic Crusher

The fourth installment of the NHL’s Winter Classic series took place in Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia between the Rangers and the Flyers. After Philly jumped out to a two goal lead in the second period, New York slowly crept back in. Richards put the Rangers ahead for good in the outdoor spectacle:

1) 6.6 Seconds To Spare

In the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals between New  York and the Washington Capitals, the series was tied 2-2 heading in to Game Five. It looked like the Caps were going to head back to the nation’s capital with a 3-2 series lead, but a late high sticking call on Joel Ward gave the Rangers a power play with 21.3 seconds remaining. Marc Staal would score the eventual game-winner early in overtime, but Richards put them in the extra frame:

Adam Bernard
I'm a seasoned veteran in the sports media field and a lifelong Rangers fan (hoping to relive 1994 at some point - I couldn't fully appreciate a championship at 11 years old). Hockey dominates my life for the most part: I also root for the Blackhawks & Kings, I've been lucky enough to split season tickets for the Blueshirts with a good friend since the lockout, and I'm a defenseman on a local roller hockey team. Away from the rink, I enjoy hiking, hard rock music, and spending time with my dog Astro.
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