Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Behind the scenes of the Brad Richards bidding war

"Sure, give me a longterm mega-deal, what could go
wrong? Uh, why do you keep looking behind me?"
Friday marked the official start of NHL free agency, and all eyes were focused on Brad Richards. The former Dallas Star was unquestionably the biggest name available on the open market, and he quickly became the focus of an unprecedented bidding war.

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.




49 comments:

  1. Fantastic as always!

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  2. Thank you for (again) making my day!

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  3. "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."

    "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."

    It's funny, 'cause it's true. How does Sather still have that job? (A sentence that used to be dominated by Mike Millbury until his insanity overcame the suitcase of incriminating photos.)

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  4. The weird thing is, Sather builds great teams on paper. It's just that they perform like crap. Guess he still has ownership's confidence. That or they just don't care about a few hundred million dollars spent on absolutely nothing.

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  5. awesome. Loved the Redden reference, the A-Rod blinking, and the front-loaded contract reference. Then NHL seems to be randomly looking at these. How did Ehrhoff's get approved and the Talbot one not? (or was it Dupuis? I always get those two mixed up)

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  6. Talbot didn't get approved right away because of the amount that his contract decreases over the years. It can't decrease by more than half, and it was written that way at first. It had to be written to fix that.

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  7. 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.


    hahahahahaha best bit of the whole write-up mate

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  8. "That or they just don't care about a few hundred million dollars spent on absolutely nothing. "

    The Rangers are like the Jays - more valuable as a TV property than as a competitive entity. Frankly, I think MSG's annoyed that Lundquvist has dragged them into the playoffs for the last few years.

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  9. Those DGB spies are everywhere... Great work!

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  10. Man all these negative comments from you Leafs fan is making me laugh. First off, the A-Rod thing doesn't make too much sense since he was the clutchest player in the 2009 playoffs and won a ring. Sorry about our media, we want a team that will win, not a team that hasn't won in over 40 years in a country that only cares about hockey. That's embarrassing. Oh wait, you guys were an OT away from getting swept by Montreal in 93 but I think Frasor just missed another call. Have fun enjoying another decade rooting for the prospects and missing the playoffs. Hey, at least you have the best player in the MLB now, haha.

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  11. right everyone hates on sather and the rangers, two teams offered more money. How do people eat up this contract yet no one says a word about the jerkoff erhoff, maybe she wrote the artical.

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  12. oh and ps the maple leafs suck, and if the rangers are like the jays then the leafs are like the yankees the both have a ton of money, run their own network, and have lots of championships..... oh wait, well i guess the yankees win. OH YEAH THATS RIGHT the Leafs SUCK. Thats why br didnt sign there and thats why no one signs there, but hey giving tim connolly almost 5mil per was a great idea, amazining he only makes a little less then br

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  13. remember people canada is a country because America lets it be one

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  14. So does this make Drury the awkward ex-girlfriend in this scenario??

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  15. Love this butt-hurt rangers fans. Threatening Canada, wow. Satire bro. Satire. DGB is the man. Also trolling behind an anonymous tag is cowardly even by internet standards.

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  16. Did a Rangers fan really rag on Leaf fans for waiting over 40 years?

    Really?

    REALLY?

    Obviously, the dumbass has to be younger than 17, and hasn't learned that his team set the NHL mark for futility.

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  17. Glad to see fans of NYC teams still have ZERO sense of humor.

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  18. How microscopically tiny is your wiener if you're from New York, arguably the greatest city anywhere ever, and you can't take a little good-natured ribbing from a dude who lives in Ottawa?

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  19. Classic...simply classic. LT aka LT67 @ltaylor01

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  20. "the a-rod thing doesnt make sense" - what are you nine years old? He had one hit for Joe Torre in the whole playoffs, and was rightfully eaten alive by the New York media... not to mention what they're doing to Jeter right now. It's perfectly relevant and absolutely hilarious! Great job DGB.

    "canada is a country becaue america lets it be one" hahaha.

    Leafs are actually going to be good this year. watch out... and thats coming from a New Yorker

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  21. 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.

    As a Devs fan, this made me laugh, and sort of want to hit something. The truth, it hurts. Well done as always.

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  22. Why is there so much anger over a satirical piece?

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  23. I'm honestly at a loss for what was funnier, the article or the dumbass Rangers fan that doesn't understand big words like "satire" and clearly takes himself WAAAY too seriously. Thanks for another hilarious post!

    On a side note, how do I become a DGB spy? Is there like a standard application to fill out or anything? And am I expected to be able to access these high profile meetings on my own, or do you help out with that?

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  24. That kid might be 17 but 40 years without a cup for any team north of the border is horrible but toronto that makes it much worse. Plus the rangers last cup was 94 you can say 54 years all you want we still won a cup more recently and our team chance of winning another are much better up and down the line up.

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  25. As a Rangers fan I am sad to find that others can't take a joke. I enjoyed the post, If you don't like it; don't read it.

    "If you can't laugh at yourself, life's gonna seem a whole lot longer than you like."

    Cautiously optimistic about this move given our history with UFAs. Good work as usual DGB

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  26. what kevin meant to say was my life sucks and hopefully ill brew a decent beer by the time toronto wins another cup but chances are we will all be dead by then

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  27. As a Ranger fan, I am usually too embarrassed by my team's recent performance to post. Today, I am almost too embarrassed by the Ranger posters.

    Other than that, the comments are almost as funny as the piece.

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  28. This is way too funny. Not only did you guys land the most overpaid free agent of the summer (anyone remember how far Kovalchuk got the Devils last year?) but now the Rangers are without a doubt a better team because of how they look on paper? have you rangers fans not learned anything over the last few years?

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  29. Wow, after reading these comments, I've never been so proud to be an Islanders fan...

    Great word DGB, loved the Redden line.

    -Gregaaron

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  30. "Wow, after reading these comments, I've never been so proud to be an Islanders fan..."

    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner.

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  31. The New York Rangers: Making Islanders fans feel better about themselves for 70 of the past 71 years.

    (Also, c'mon, at least do the math if you're going to insult the Leafs and say it's 44 years.)

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  32. Yeah, gotta love trolls who can't take a joke...you people do realize that DGB rags on every team, INCLUDING the Leafs, right?

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  33. 'Canada is a country because America lets it be one" WTF? Canada (and Britain) is the United States' only true ally and friend. However, if you really want to get into it...... currently you guys need our help to occupy an ass backward nation like Afghanistan, couldn't handle Iraq on your own and I won't even bother bringing up Vietnam. PLUS, (a quick history lesson for my ignorant FRIEND) the last time you fucked with us WE invaded you and burned the White House to the ground. Canada is a country because it is filled with free men who will it to be so.

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  34. Also, America is only a country until China collects on their loan.

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  35. foxinthewoods: ***slow clap***

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  36. Canada is only a country because America lets it be one eh?

    I'm trying to remember what happened the last (and only) time America tried to invade Canada.. I think it led to why the "White House" is white..

    Anyways, great piece DGB! The hilariously butthurt comments from the Rangers fan was just an added bonus..

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  37. Hi, this is Glen Sather, and Like is still an idiot.

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  38. speaking as a rangers fan, i loved it. i really don't get the rangers fans here that whine over this article, considering that rangers fans are usually the ones who rants most about sathers incompetence...

    admittedly though, he has gotten better lately. 3 years ago, this contract would be 9 years, 90 million. =P but he still deserved a bucket of crap every once in a while....

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  39. "he's invited four teams that have combined for two Stanley Cups in the last 40 years"

    Which one did you forget? 1989, 1994, or 2004?

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  40. @WendelMania

    Tampa wasn't one of the final four.

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  41. Love those idiot Rangers fans.

    "America is only a country until China collects on their loan." Made me cry of laughter.

    Love the Gomez reference in the end, coming from a Habs fan.

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  42. Sean: You forgot the part where Lecavalier tries to woo Richards back to Tampa Bay.
    Richards responds to Vinny's pitch: "Re-uniting sounds great. But will it be you or me as the #1 center? Which of us gets to play with Marty Saint Lewis?"
    Levacalier: "Um, er, um. Good luck in New York."

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  43. Yeahhhh count me in as another Rangers fan who thought it was awesome. Relax butthurt dudes. You do realize he also made fun of the fact that Slats is able to trade these contracts, right?

    (Also, as a dual citizen I always find these US/Canada things kind of weird. Like I'm a little kid and my parents are fighting. IT'S ALL MY FAULT, ISN'T IT?!)

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  44. @Anon 6:50:
    "It's all my fault, isn't it?"

    That would be the Canadian part of you speaking.

    -Gregaaron

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  45. Although this is the time I have read anything on this site it will certainly not be the last. Next time, I will wear "Adult Diapers" . Piss your pants funny.
    Merci !

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  46. Anonymous from New York, why you heff to be mad?

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  47. 3:26 made me laugh hard!

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  48. "Anonymous said...

    remember people canada is a country because America lets it be one"

    Remember America is a continent, the name of the country is United States of America. Actually, Canada is a country 'cause the English couldn't defeat the French and the "Canadian" indian tribes.

    If you're gonna rub it in, get it right...

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