Skip to content

Brad Richards: ‘I loved being a Ranger’

Jun 20, 2014, 6:35 PM EDT

2014 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Five Getty Images

When it comes to player buyouts, it’s easy to get lost in the numbers and forget the human side of the transaction. Brad Richards was cooperative with the New York Rangers as they exercised their compliance buyout on him today, but that doesn’t mean it was easy for him.

“Tough last few days … I loved being a Ranger and living in New York and playing at MSG in front of great fans,” Richards said. “I’ve met many new friends, excellent teammates and staff and I have memories that I will cherish for a lifetime.”

It’s clear that the 34-year-old forward feels wistful about his involuntary exit from the Big Apple, but it sounds like he at least went out on a high note, as he told the New York Post after a stunning double-overtime loss to end the 2014 Stanley Cup Final.

“It’s definitely worth it — worth every second of these two months,” Richards said on June 14.

When you look at things from a cold, calculated cap sense, it seemed simple to state that the Rangers needed to part ways with a player whose effectiveness simply hasn’t matched his cap hit in the last season or two. Most glaringly, Richards only managed two assists in his last 10 playoff games with the Rangers. Considering his largely offense-only role and costly contract, it’s a no-brainer on paper.

GM Glen Sather was the one who had to pull the trigger, however, and it didn’t sound like a pleasant decision.

“This was an extremely difficult decision to make because of how much respect I have for him.” Sather said. ” … Brad’s leadership and guidance for our young players was invaluable to the organization.”

Would the Rangers have been more willing to stomach his $6.667 million cap hit if his contract expired in a season or two instead of after the 2019-20 season? One can only speculate, yet the very long-term, risky deal that lured Richards to New York ended up being the main reason he only lasted through a third of the pact.

For more on the cap implications and specifics of the buyout, click here.

Latest Posts
  1. Johnston: Teammates need to do more to help Crosby

    Aug 28, 2014, 9:33 PM EDT

    Sidney Crosby Getty Images

    The new coach wants the Penguins to ‘lessen the load.’

  2. Poll: Will the Sabres surprise critics this season?

    Aug 28, 2014, 7:11 PM EDT

    Tyler Myers Getty Images

    They have a lot of players on their roster with something to prove.

  3. Ryan White has surgery on pectoralis muscle

    Aug 28, 2014, 5:59 PM EDT

    Ryan White Getty Images

    There’s no timetable for his return.

  4. Under Pressure: Mikhail Grigorenko

    Aug 28, 2014, 4:47 PM EDT

    Mikhail Grigorenko Getty Images

    The former first round pick is entering the last season of his entry-level contract.

  5. NBC’s Dan Patrick: NHL to Vegas by 2016

    Aug 28, 2014, 2:29 PM EDT

    Las Vegas Getty Images

    Arizona or Carolina could relocate according to the host.

  6. No contract talks between Milano and Blue Jackets

    Aug 28, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT

    2014 NHL Draft - Round 1 Getty Images

    Milano clears the air on deal with Columbus.

  7. AHL gets drug testing program

    Aug 28, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT

    AHL logo

    To be implemented for 2014-15 season.

  8. Video: Ducks’ Ryan Kesler’s hilarious Ice Bucket Challenge

    Aug 28, 2014, 12:09 PM EDT

    Ryan Kesler AP

    Calls out former coaches Marc Crawford, Alain Vigneault and John Tortorella

  9. Looking to make the leap: Sam Reinhart

    Aug 28, 2014, 11:12 AM EDT

    Sam Reinhart AP

    After a solid junior career, hopes to make the Sabres as an 18-year-old.

  10. Report: Tomas Kaberle ‘in line’ to attend Devils’ camp

    Aug 28, 2014, 10:02 AM EDT

    Tomas Kaberle AP

    Last appeared in 10 games with the Montreal Canadiens during the 2012-13 season.

  11. Ex-NHLer Poeschek faces assault charge

    Aug 28, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Court House

    He is scheduled to appear in court on Oct. 9.

  12. It’s Buffalo Sabres day on PHT

    Aug 28, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Cody Hodgson Getty Images

    They’re in the middle of a rebuilding process.

  13. Eichel, like McDavid, will showcase his skills in Buffalo this fall

    Aug 27, 2014, 10:49 PM EDT

    Jack Eichel Getty Images

    Of course, neither will be wearing a Sabres’ uniform – not yet at least.

  14. Boston extends affiliation with Providence, Pandolfo named development coach

    Aug 27, 2014, 9:40 PM EDT

    Jay Pandolfo Getty Images

    They’ve also appointed Don Sweeney as the AHL team’s new general manager.

  15. Poll: Was 13-14 a fair representation of what Detroit was capable of?

    Aug 27, 2014, 8:28 PM EDT

    Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterberg Getty Images

    It matters given that they will start next season with a largely unchanged roster.

  16. Alfredsson’s future remains uncertain with camp looming

    Aug 27, 2014, 7:20 PM EDT

    Daniel Alfredsson Getty Images

    Ken Holland hasn’t been in contact with him lately, but that will change soon.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. C. Price (1633)
  2. J. Harding (1629)
  3. M. Staal (1564)
  4. J. Giguere (1457)
  5. A. Ekblad (1444)