wrong? Uh, why do you keep looking behind me?"
As the day wore on, Richards reportedly narrowed his choices down to four teams: the Rangers, Kings, Maple Leafs and Flames. With various hockey media staking out his agent's office in Mississauga, the star centre huddled inside with advisors listening to detailed presentations from each of the candidates. After a gruelling day of negotiations and counter-offers, Richards eventually signed a nine-year, $60 million deal with the Rangers.
So what exactly happened behind those closed doors on Friday? As it turns out, DGB spies were present throughout the day and were able to capture some of the most notable moments from the day's proceedings.
12:01 pm - Although they agree to take him at his word that he's keeping an open mind, arriving representatives of the Flames, Leafs and Kings admit it may be a bad sign that Richards meets them at the door wearing a Rangers jersey.
12:34 pm - Despite some concern that Brian Burke would miss the Leafs' presentation while in Afghanistan to visit the troops, he is able to join thanks to the last-minute invention of a brand new technology known as the telephone.
1:12 pm - Flames' general manager Jay Feaster spend several minutes laughingly reminiscing with Richards about that time in Tampa Bay when they won the Stanley Cup because the refs didn't see the other team score the winning goal in overtime, while Jarome Iginla sits quietly between them with a single tear rolling down his cheek.
1:54 pm - Upon hearing that Richards is seriously considering the Flames' offer, Burke and Cliff Fletcher tell him "That's great, if you turn out to be good we can just acquire you in a lopsided trade".
2:42 pm - The Kings' presentation includes a video clip of Kobe Bryant extolling the virtues of playing in Los Angeles. It goes over much better than the Rangers' version, in which Alex Rodriguez extolls the virtues of playing in New York while blinking "Run while you still can, they will eat you alive" in morse code.
3:26 pm - The Rangers' presentation on the value of loyalty and long-term commitments turns uncomfortable when Wade Redden shows up halfway through to repair the office photocopier.
4:02 pm - Richards is impressed with the Maple Leafs' offer, but seems thrown off by the way an obviously delusional Burke keeps claiming that he thinks he can find a team that would trade a good young player for Brett Lebda.
5:24 pm - Richards instructs his agent to drive up the price for the other teams by continuing to pretend to be even vaguely interested in signing with the Kings, before being awkwardly informed by Dean Lombardi him that he's actually still in the room.
6:31 pm - Glen Sather offers to frontload almost the entire value of the contract into the first six years, but only on the condition that he get to see live footage of the look on Lou Lamoriello's face when the league approves it.
7:49 pm - Richards reminds the bidders that his top priority is to win a championship and that's why he's invited four teams that have combined for two Stanley Cups in the last 40 years, before pausing and adding "Wait, that made way more sense before I heard myself say it out loud".
9:21 pm - The increasingly frantic bidding war is briefly interrupted when an apparently confused Tomas Vokoun wanders in, looks around, and asks "Wait, you mean when you're a free agent you don't have to just automatically accept the very first offer you get?"
10:32 pm - Realizing that he's on the verge of winning the bidding and agreeing to a contract that would have a devastating impact on the Rangers' long-term salary cap situation, Sather instructs his scouts to go ahead and get a head start on working out the trade that will send Richards to Montreal once he isn't good anymore.