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Mike Richards Will Be Bought Out - Should The Blues Sign Him?

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You know what the team needs? LEADERSHIP.

Brace yourself, East Side.
Brace yourself, East Side.
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Mike Richards is a former captain of the Philadelphia Flyers. He won two Stanley Cups with the Los Angeles Kings. He has often been held up as a paradigm of leadership by Pierre McGuire.

He is also on waivers for the second time in his career.

Dean Lombardi previously waived Richards and his huge salary and obnoxiously long term (12 years $69 million, courtesy of the Flyers) last season, but no one claimed him. This was probably due to the fact that no team wanted to be on the hook for $5.75 million dollars until the end of time. Instead of using a compliance buyout before last season on a player whose numbers had been slipping, Lombardi dug himself into a hole with a player that he couldn't trade.

None of the monetary part of this should be held against Richards, of course. "Why no, I do not want $69 million!" is a phrase that you will never hear out of a sane person's mouth. It has, though, made his career difficult.

Richards being a UFA come July 1st has lead to the usual speculation of "what teams should make a play for him?" Some feel like he's low risk, high reward, a la Brad Richards when he signed with the Blackhawks. Richards won't be expensive - five goals and 11 assists in 52 games can't command a high price. It also won't command much attention, considering a numbers drop off like Richards' is not a good sign for a guy who is just 30. He would be good for depth down the middle on a team short of centers, but just for that - depth.

The numbers plus the "depth down the middle" thing is why the Blues shouldn't take a look at him. Despite issues with where and how players were utilized (Paul Stastny, anyone?), the Blues actually have depth down the middle. It would be shocking to see Stastny, David Backes, Jori Lehtera, or Steve Ott moved this off-season. Marcel Goc is a UFA, but is Richards actually a replacement for Goc?

Factor in Robby Fabbri probably getting a good, long look during camp and the preseason, and there's nowhere for Richards to fit. Intangibles? Sure. But there's no tangible reason for the Blues to offer him a contract, either.