Some quick tidbits from Brad Richards’ interview with Hockey Central late Friday night:
– When pressed on the factors most important to Brad’s decision making process, he listed a stable ownership group and a commitment to win both in the short and long-term. He specifically cited the Tampa Bay situation where the team was blown up just two years after taking home the Cup as something he does not want to go through again.
– A decision will most likely come sometime earlier in the day on Saturday. Brad had originally hoped to have the matter resolved on the first day, but the overwhelming presentations needed a little more time to be digested. He apparently slept on it last night and will now talk to his family this morning and make a decision shortly afterward. Richards: “There’s no need for it to drag further than tomorrow. I don’t want this to become a sideshow.”
– The field has apparently been narrowed down to four teams. They are believed to be the Rangers, Maple Leafs, Kings and Flames. The first three teams have all met in person with Richards and his group while the Flames conducted a phone session with Brad’s former GM Jay Feaster.
– The Maple Leafs‘ offer has been rumored to be the largest of the bunch, but is structured more evenly without the backsliding element or bogus years of its competitors. With Burke on record against those type of deals as a form of cap circumvention, and having testified against the Kovalchuk deal, we will see if it takes the Leafs out of the running. The consensus amongst industry experts appears to be that the Rangers are the current frontrunners to land the all-star centreman’s services.