MacLean also says that Richards agents advised against signing with the Rangers because they felt there were situations that would fit him better and also get him more money. Richards wanted to be closer to his family in PEI, Canada and loved the idea of playing for an Original Six team.
MacLean says that Tortorella didn’t respect what Richards did and compared it to when in 1996 Mike Keenan ripped Wayne Gretzky.
He also says that what the Rangers did to Richards is a common thing for how they handle players, “Wade Redden was so well thought of in Ottawa, the Senators chose Wade over Zdeno Chara. I feel the same way about Redden. He was thrown out. Bobby Holik. Scott Gomez. These are highly regarded players elsewhere who were made to appear to have lost it in New York.”
1:50PM: James Duthie was on TSN Radio this morning and spoke about Brad Richards and John Tortorella.
Duthie said that when Tortorella worked for TSN, prior to becoming the Rangers coach, there wasn’t a player that Tortorella gushed about more than Brad Richards.
Duthie went on to say, “hockey players are proud to the point of petty and I bet that that relationship isn’t repairable. When you embarrass a player like that, and I’m not saying it was the wrong move. Richards had an awful season and an awful playoff and was doing nothing. If you don’t think he can play in the top six then there is no point in putting him on the fourth line. He is not a fourth line player. If you take all the names and relationships out of it I don’t think it’s the worst coaching move ever, but when you embarrass a player like that they don’t recover. I bet that relationship is forever torn.