Richards has six-years left on his deal with a cap hit of $6.67 million.
- For all mentions, dating back to last year, of Richards being bought out, CLICK HERE.
The buyout will remove Richards' cap hit from the Rangers salary cap but the team will still owe him $1.055 million per year until 2025-26. (Cap Geek)
Richards will earn an additional $8 million in not-yet paid signing bonus money that is not eligible to be part of the compliance buyout. That money does not impact the Rangers cap. (Cap Geek)
- Glen Sather spoke about Richards at Media Day for the Stanley Cup Final
- Alain Vigneault praised Richards on breakup day
Richards signed a nine-year contract with the Rangers worth $60 million on July 2, 2011. He will end up earning $51 of the $60 million. (Johnston)
In the regular season, Richards appeared in 210 of 212 possible games for the Rangers and had 56 goals, 95 assists and 151 points.
- 11-12: 25 goals, 41 assists in 82 games
- 12-13: 11 goals, 23 assists in 46 games
- 13-14: 29 goals, 31 assists in 82 games
- 11-12: 6 goals, 9 assists in 20 games
- 12-13: 1 goal, 0 assists in 10 games
- 13-14: 5 goals, 7 assists in 25 games
Adam Rotter: It's a business move for the Rangers and one that they had to make both for the short-term, getting guys re-signed, and long-term, potential cap recapture penalties. While Richards wasn't the player we thought he would be when he signed, he was a good player for the Rangers, scored some big goals, had some big moments and was essentially the captain this season. If there was a way to keep Richards the Rangers would have because he can still be an effective player and his locker room presence is probably something that can't be measured. In the end though there was no way for the Rangers to keep him without assuming a ton of risk that could have led to much worse problems down the line. If they could re-sign him now to a deal with a lower cap hit they would, but the league doesn't allow that and Richards will move on.
All year I had a tough time believing that the Rangers would use their buyout on Richards when he was good for them this year but as the end of the season grew closer I started to shift and go towards thinking they had to do it. He helped them get to the Stanley Cup Final, but once there he looked like he was out of gas and as he gets older you would have to think that Richards level of play will continue to diminish and leave the Rangers with no way out from his contract.
The Rangers will miss Richards, both on and off the ice, and you just have to hope that he has left enough of an imprint on the players who will return that they can help fill the void that he will leave behind. Marty St. Louis is still there and Dom Moore will probably be back but Richards, along with Henrik Lundqvist, were the ones who went deep two years ago with a lot of the players who went to the Final this year. He was a bridge from the old Rangers to the new Rangers, was someone that Alain Vigneault put a lot of trust and faith in and will leave behind a hole that they will need to find a way to fill.