The Kings took their swing, but the biggest name is now off the free-agent market, as Brad Richards has agreed to a nine-year deal with the New York Rangers worth $6.67 $6.5 million per year, as reported by TSN.
As noted throughout yesterday, the Kings invested a lot of time and effort in Richards. As of a few days ago, they believed they could offer Richards an average salary of $6.5 million (or perhaps a bit more), while still leaving enough room for Drew Doughty’s contract. It was strongly presumed that Richards’ tendency was to stay in the East, but the Kings believed they had a shot to win him over, thus the expensive presentation, which included breakdowns of the team’s travel and potential living arrangements on the West Coast.
So now, the Kings still find themselves needing a left-wing replacement for Ryan Smyth, meaning they will need to dip their toe into what remains of the free-agent market or start looking for trade possibilities.