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Brad Richards Benched Brad Richards

Larry Brooks writes that Brad Richards found out last year that he was being scratched in game four against Boston by hearing it from Michael Haley and Kris Newbury during a team dinner the night before the game. (NY Post)

Brooks says that Richards figured out that if both Haley and Newbury were playing, he would be out of the lineup. The next morning John Tortorella called Richards to tell him that he would be scratched for game four.? (NY Post)

Tortorella, in repeatedly calling Richards a "hell of a hockey player" and someone that he "loves as a player and a person," said that Richards was scratched because he didn't fit on the fourth line and the centers on the top three lines had stepped up and were playing better than him.

Tags: Brad Richards, Brad Richards Benched, Brad Richards Buyout, Adam Rotter
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James Duthie of TSN interviewed John Tortorella and Duthie said that when Tortorella was at TSN there wasn't a player that he liked or respected more than Brad Richards.

While Duthie was setting up the question Tortorella said "yes" and then Duthie asked if the two had spoken and Tortorella responded quickly with a "no."

When asked if he thought the relationship was damaged, Tortorella said ".......yea...that's all ill go."

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While meeting with the media yesterday, Brad Richards said that he didn't sign with the Rangers to only play a year and a half with the Rangers.

Richards said that he didn't feel "normal" all season but expects to be able to return to playing at a high level.

During John Tortorella's meeting with the media, the Rangers coach said that Richards needs to take what happened to him at the end of the Bruins series as a wake up call and that he is sure Richards will be able to bounce back.

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3:51PM: Richards' comments today:
  • On the season, "it's disappointing season. There was a lot of expectations, it was all a mess....with the lockout. It was just a different year adn when you are out now the only thing that matters is that you aren't playing."
  • On being scratched, "it was not a fun time. It was tough but life goes on and I need to regroup, figure some things out and start over."
  • On training camp, "for my situation it starts a lot earlier than that."
  • On last year vs this year, "it just wasn't a good season."
  • On being ready, "I get to start over, in about a week or two. It's one thing I can control, how I prepare. If I do all that then I am confident of how I will enter the season."
  • On his future "I'm playing hockey next year no matter what. I signed to be here longer than a year and a a half but I do understand everything that is going on."
  • Do you think you have a lot more to offer, "yes."
  • On preparing for this past season, "I didn't play the last two games of the season so I need to do something to get back. There are a lot of other things that can or might or won't. I signed here to be a Ranger for a lot longer than a year and a half and I hope to do that. I gotta take care of how I play."
  • On relationships, "Obviously this is another thing in a relationship that will never change now, but I want to play hockey."
  • On being surprised at the decision, "when it happens you are never really understanding. The game before it I probably had 40 seconds in the third period, so it's not like you are going 20 min to nothing. It was frustrating, I wanted to be out there to help but it wasn't my decision."
  • "I didn't feel normal all season. There are a thousand things I could blame or put excuses on, but I won't. Obviously there was something missing."
  • On starting over, "it's a lot of things. I think I was in good shape to start the season in September, everything was different after that. It's a full evaluation of how you prepare."
  • "I wanna start tomorrow."
  • On next season, "I got a lot of prove and to get back to."
11:22AM: According to tweets from Steve Zipay and the Rangers twitter account, Brad Richards called this season disappointing and one where he has to "start over."

Zipay tweets Richards saying that he will start his offseason work in a week or so.

Richards said that he came to NY to be a Ranger for more than a season and a half and that he hopes to stay a Ranger.

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2:09PM: At CBC, Ron MacLean, the host on Hockey Night in Canada and a friend of Richards, said that Brad deserved better than to be scratched in game four.

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.

Tags: Brad Richards, Brad Richards Benched, John Tortorella, Adam Rotter
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On MSG last night, John Tortorella talked about why Brad Richards was a healthy scratch last night.

Tortorella said, "By no means is this a situation where I am taking him out and blaming him, I am playing him on the fourth line, he is playing seven or eight minutes. It's not good for him, it doesn't work playing Brad Richards that way. I felt some other guys have played better so that is where he is on our lineup. It just doesn't work and I'm not playing him in the proper way but I can't put him in a situation with the other lines because they have stepped up. I look at the fourth line, looking to add some life, looking to add an identity on that fourth line and that is where Brad comes out and I get some fresh legs and enthusiasm."

He added, "I'm sure some people will pick it apart, I wanna make sure you know....Brad Richards is a hell of a hockey player. He has had struggles here, it continues, me putting him in that role doesn't help him, so I would rather have him out and identity how we are going to run our fourth line. Don't put words in my mouth. I'm not blaming Brad Richards, I've heard enough of that crap. He is a hell of a hockey player that has had a. I need to make decisions for what I feel is right for the team to win tonight's game. This is a Conn Smythe winner, I guy that I have grown up with, a guy that I love as a person and as a player but I have to make that decision. So kiss my ass if you wanna write something different.It's not about blaming that guy and I don't want anyone poling on him.? It's my decision for the hockey team."

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In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that John Tortorella runs no risk of losing anyone in the Rangers locker based on his decision to bench Brad Richards tonight.

He notes that Tortorella ran a greater risk by continuing to put Richards on the ice and give him ice time that he wasn't deserving of.

Brooks says that had JT Miller been healthy and still with the team, this move could have come earlier in the playoffs.

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Earlier today, after confirming to the media that he would be a healthy scratch, Brad Richards told Katie Strang at ESPN NY that he doesn't know if he is surprised at being a healthy scratch but said he is disappointed.

Richards said that John Tortorella called him while at home this morning to tell him that he won't play tonight. He added that his plan is to work hard so that this never happens to him again in the future.

Pat Leonard wonders in the Daily News what impact this will have on the locker room and the players feelings on John Tortorella.

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Brad Richards has confirmed to Andrew Gross that he will be a healthy scratch in game four against the Boston Bruins.

Richards was on the ice late and skating with the extra players at the Rangers optional morning skate.

Gross says that John Tortorella called Richards this morning to tell him he would be a healthy scratch.

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