After meeting with Brad Richards during break-up day at the MSG practice facility this morning, Alain Vigneault told the media that the organization has not made a final decision regarding a compliance buyout (via Bergen Record)…
“Obviously, we’re going through the pain of losing here and putting that in perspective of at the end of the day you could say we had a pretty good year anyway. But, it’s still painful to lose in the Stanley Cup Final. But, Brad’s an experienced guy that knows that we’ve got some decisions to make. They’re not easy. We’re looking at different things and he’s going to be a pro and he’s going to wait until we make up our mind.”
AV added that he’s a big fan of Richards.
Richards was the only player other than Martin St. Louis, who had a father son event to attend, who didn’t speak with the media today.
On Saturday, Adam Herman gave an extended look at whether the Rangers should retain or release Richards which you can view here.
The compliance buyout period began this morning at 12:01 a.m. and will run until June 30th at 5pm.
Because Richards has a no-movement clause it’s up to him whether he wants to go through waivers before being bought out.
…lots of compliments thrown at Richards + not speaking to media = 100% being bought out.
…as I got caught up in the emotions of the playoffs, I started wavering on buying out Richards. You can’t put a price tag on his leadership ability, plus his regular season and early postseason performance proved he has something left in the tank. But now that the Rangers magical run is over and I’m thinking straight again, I recognize that his Stanley Cup Final struggles likely foreshadow what to expect from him going forward. The Rangers have only one option here…and it’s not naming him captain this off-season.
…i know Richards didn’t come close to living up to his ridiculous contract and his playoff scratch against the Bruins last season was an embarrassing ordeal for all involved, but if I told you the day he signed on the dotted line in 2011 that the first three years of his deal would bring an Eastern Conference Finals and Stanley Cup Finals appearance, you’d take it in second. Plus he gave us one of the greatest playoff moments in Rangers history…
…let’s not also forget all the amazing work he did assisting New York residents recover in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy. Without any fanfare he was literally going house to house in the Rockaways helping rebuild homes. Not to mention the charity hockey game he helped organize in Atlantic City. While his production may have been at career low levels, I don’t think I’m overstating that his three years in New York were a success.