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Brad Richards waiting to find out if he’ll get bought out

Jun 28, 2013, 12:18 PM EDT

Brad Richards #19 of the New York Rangers controls the puck in Game Four of the Eastern Conference Final against the New Jersey Devils during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Prudential Center on May 21, 2012 in Newark, New Jersey.
(May 20, 2012 - Source: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images North America) Getty Images

The Tampa Bay Lightning’s decision to buy out Vincent Lecavalier has only added fuel to the speculation surrounding New York Rangers forward Brad Richards.

Like Lecavalier, Richards is still a very talented player — even factoring in his stint as a healthy scratch in the playoffs — but his contract is an issue. Richards is 33 years old and comes with a $6,666,667 annual cap hit through 2019-20.

That being said, the Rangers haven’t made their intentions known and Richards appears to have been left in the dark.

“I have no clue,” Richards told the New York Post about the possibility of being bought out. “I’m just waiting.”

He did have a “great talk” with new Rangers coach Alain Vigneault, but it’s been “very silent” otherwise.

Richards would certainly attract plenty of attention on the free agent market. That being said, the Rangers could also choose to postpone this decision until the summer of 2014.

  1. spochiefsfan - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    6 mil huh?

  2. endusersolutions2013 - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:48 PM

    And Letang just turned down 6.5 mill. There is a new reality that apparantly is not registering with some NHL players yet – a lower salary cap means the days of huge contracts, especially for those who are not currently one of the top two or 3 in their position are over.

    Apparantly Letang thinks getting 1/10th of the team’s total cap is not good enough.

    Richards will likely be looking at less, and will also likely need to do some serious off-season work. They guy that most deserves the big bucks on the Rangers is they guy they depend to bail them out when they can’t score goals, Lungqvist.

  3. 19to77 - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    I can’t see why they’d do it now, before even finding out if he works in Vigneault’s system or not. Compliance-free or no, even the wealthy Rangers don’t want to be shelling out tens of millions for a guy to not play for them, not unless they’re sure they’re better off. They’ll likely give him this season to find out if it works or not.

    • johnstone17 - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:23 PM

      The only issue is if he gets hurt late next season, you can’t buy him out.

  4. nysportsrule - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:54 PM

    Give him a year under AV see how he plays

  5. barkar942 - Jun 28, 2013 at 12:59 PM

    Please buy him out now while he is healthy and can be bought out. Too much risk to have him end up on IR at the end of next year and not be able to be bought out.
    Make cap room to pay the players on the team that deserve the numbers.
    McDonough, Cally next year, Stepan, and Hank. Keep Zuc, Hags and Clowe. With the players they got in the trade with Columbus late last year, they should be in pretty good shape.

  6. zenc64 - Jun 28, 2013 at 1:07 PM

    His contract is a mess. Plenty of options – Briere, Lecavalier similar players that we can pick up for a couple million for 3 years or so making this a wash. Lecavalier is bigger and can play in the corners. But then again Sather may just sign one of these two to a long term deal at 6+ per, please someone make Sather’s medication is checked on a regular basis.

  7. homerx - Jun 28, 2013 at 2:05 PM

    They better buy him out. Do not take the risk of waiting until next year. Unless you are 110% sure he is going to score 40 goals a season he is not worth $6.6mm. I don’t think I could bear to watch him have another season like the last. If he stays in a Rangers uniform he will be like that money guy in the GEICO commercials; skating around the ice with money flowing off him.

  8. cameltoews - Jun 28, 2013 at 7:30 PM

    Richards isn’t the type of player to have 40 goals. I think one more year is the right move and that’s what they did. He will have a bounce back year. I think he will have 65-70 points next season.

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