The decision not to buyout Brad Richards has been made, so there's really no sense in getting worked up about it anymore. We all know the huge risk Glen Sather took and we just have to pray the Rangers alternate captain can bounce back while staying healthy.
And it looks like he's already focusing on next season as Pierre LeBrun at ESPN.com reports that Richards has been working out with Martin St. Louis in Connecticut lately.
LeBrun notes that after speaking with Richards, he sounded like a man hell bent on proving to people he’s still an elite player.
…this is exactly the report I want to be hearing about Richards. Never underestimate the importance of pride. His has been bruised and he'll be looking to nurse it back to health this season.
…and if he can't turn it around, as we discussed in the comments section yesterday, I think the Rangers stick him in the press box for the remainder of the season as to not risk injury and ineligibility for the compliance buyout next offseason.
While not being able to buyout Richards next season will hurt the Rangers long term, the decision to give him another chance will likely affect them negatively in the short term as well.
As Larry Brooks at the New York Post indicates, after signing Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin and Mats Zuccarello, the Rangers will likely have approximately $2 million of wiggle room under the cap, which won't be enough to re-sign Ryane Clowe.
…listen, if Sather really wants to re-sign Clowe, he'll make to the proper trades to open up space to get him back on board. But as has been reported, re-signing Clowe isn't a priority for the Rangers.