Brad Richards C CHI 1 Month

New York Rangers GM Glen Sather said the decision to buy out Brad Richards was "extremely difficult" because of the respect Sather has for him.

Sather went on to praise Richards' leadership and guidance. The Rangers aren't buying out Richards' contract because he didn't have value. They're doing it because he's 34 years old and came with a $6,666,667 annual cap hit through 2019-20. They had the option to rid themselves of that cap hit entirely through a compliance buyout, but that option wouldn't have been available to them beyond this summer, so they had to act now.

Brad Richards C CHI 1 Month

Brad Richards has been bought out by the New York Rangers, according to multiple sources.

That's not in the least bit surprising. Richards isn't being bought out because he's a bad player, he's being bought out because the Rangers had a unique and time-sensitive opportunity to get out of the negative part of the heavily front-loaded, long-term contract they signed Richards too. By using a compliance buyout on him, which is something they wouldn't have been allowed to do past this summer, they can entirely wipe his $6,666,667 annual cap hit off the books. He would have otherwise cost the Rangers though much through 2019-20, which would have been a significant problem for the team given that Richards is already 34 years old. In effect, the Rangers got the short-term benefits of frontloading his contract without having to suffer for it when that cap hit persisted through his late-30s.

Brad Richards C CHI 1 Month

Agent Pat Morris, who represents Brad Richards, doesn't think his client will be bought out.

"Gut feeling, it wouldn't surprise me if he's kept," Morris said. "Glen was pretty positive about Brad's role this season, especially after [former Rangers captain Ryan] Callahan left." If Richards does get bought out, it will have very little to do with how he played this season. This is the Rangers' last chance to use a compliance buyout on Richards, which will rid them of his cap hit going forward. That's a big deal given that Richards is 34 years old and comes with a $6,666,667 annual cap hit through 2019-20.

Brad Richards C CHI 1 Month

Larry Brooks of the New York Post believes the Rangers have already made a decision to buyout the contract of forward Brad Richards.

Brooks reports the team has conducted its annual evaluation of the roster in advance of the draft and the free agency period and this assessment has led the club to decide on using a compliance buyout to shed the burden of his contract, which runs until the 2019-20 season.

Brad Richards C CHI 1 Month

New York hasn't made a decision yet on the future of Brad Richards.

"We met [Sunday] for the first time with our scouts," coach Alain Vigneault said. "We're going through the process of evaluating our team. Obviously everybody knows we've got quite a few decisions to make. We're just starting that process now. We've still got quite a bit of work to do." The Rangers may use a compliance buyout on him. His contract runs through the 2019-20 season and carries an annual average value of $6,666,667 per year.

Brad Richards C CHI 1 Month

Brad Richards only had two assists in the Rangers last 10 playoff games.

That type of scoring slump gets you demoted to the fourth line and that's exactly what happened to Richards for the final two games of the series against the Kings. Richards ended up the playoffs with five goals and 12 points in 25 games and it sure looks like the Rangers will use a compliance buyout on Richards, ending his career in New York and freeing up $6.6 million in salary cap space.

Brad Richards C CHI 1 Month

Brad Richards very likely has played his last game with the New York Rangers.

The Rangers were beaten out for the Stanley Cup title by the Los Angeles Kings in five games. They lost all three games in Los Angeles in overtime, including Game 5's 3-2 double overtime loss Friday night. "It's definitely worth every second of these last two months," said Richards, who almost certainly will be bought out of the final six seasons of his nine-year, $60 million deal. "But right now, you're just kind of speechless."

Brad Richards C CHI 1 Month

Rangers forward Brad Richards says he understands why he was dropped to the fourth line for Wednesday's Game 4 against the Kings.

Richards played just over 13 minutes in New York's win on Wednesday after averaging about 18 minutes per outing for the first three games of the series, but the veteran center acknowledged coach Alain Vigneault's motives, saying "..you go try to win a game. When youre down 3-0 something has to change." Expect Richards to remain on the fourth unit when the series resumes in Los Angeles Friday.

Brad Richards C CHI 1 Month

Brad Richards was dropped to the Rangers' fourth line on Wednesday night for Game 4, as the struggling veteran is pointless in his past five games.

Head Coach Alain Vigneault sent out dummy line combinations for pre-game warmup rushes, and as soon as the game started the Rangers coach initiated a shuffle. Dominic Moore was promoted to center the Martin St. Louis and Chris Kreider line, while Richards was sent down to play with Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett.

Brad Richards C CHI 1 Month

Brad Richards admitted on Tuesday that his mind was racing with scenarios of what he could have done differently.

Richards' Rangers are down 3-0 in the Stanley Cup Final against the Los Angeles Kings. He hasn't been able to help much has he has no points and a minus-four rating in the finals. "But you have to make the best of it," he said. "The series is not over. We all can't wait to get back on the ice. It's just the waiting and the thinking. We've just got to get back into the battle and see where it goes."