Update, 7:57 p.m.:
Brad Richards released this statement after being bought out…
“Tough last few days…I loved being a Ranger and living in New York and playing at MSG in front of great fans. I’ve met many new friends, excellent teammates and staff and I have memories that I will cherish for a lifetime. Glen Sather, the management and owner, Mr. Dolan, are all class acts. I want to thank them for letting me be a part of New York life and the Rangers family. With this decision finalized, I can now look forward to starting the next chapter in my career.”
Glen Sather also released a statement on the buyout…
“We would like to thank Brad for everything he has done for our team on and off the ice during his time here. This was an extremely difficult decision to make because of how much respect I have for him. Brad’s leadership and guidance for our young players was invaluable to the organization. We are grateful to have had the professionalism and experience he brought as an example for our team to follow. Brad has been a very good player for us and an even better person. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors.”
The New York Rangers have officially bought out Brad Richards, according to ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun
Brad Richards has been bought out by the New York Rangers, source says
— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 20, 2014
Richards, 34, had six years remaining on his contract with an annual cap hit of $6.67 Million. Because Richards has a No-Movement Clause, he does not need to pass through waivers to be bought out.
The news was inevitable, but it’s still a sad ending to Brad Richards’ New York Rangers career. We can put his tenure under a microscope and come away with some criticisms or shortcomings, but at the end of the day he was brought to New York in the summer of 2011 with the expectation of him helping the Rangers reach a new level. It’s hard to argue that he didn’t. He was second in points on a team that finished first in the Eastern Conference in 2012 and led them in points during a playoff run that saw them in the Eastern Conference Finals for the first time since 1997. The 2012-2013 season was a mess, but he came back very strong this season, finishing second in goals and third in points while stepping up big time as a leader after the departure of Ryan Callahan. He also made his mark in the playoffs as the Rangers went to the Stanley Cup Finals.
The economic conundrum that came with keeping him was just way too much for Richards to have any realistic shot of remaining beyond this season, however. Regardless of how well he played. I covered those problems here. The Rangers will now have to move on and find a new top-9 center. Again, I covered potential replacements in that article.
According to the buyout rules, the Rangers are unable to re-sign Brad Richards to a new contract once he officially becomes a unrestricted free agent on July 1st.
Under the buyout, Richards will receive two-thirds of his remaining $27 million in salary (equal to $18 million) and two-thirds of his $8 million remaining in signing bonus cash (equal to $5.33 million) spread across the next 12 years. None of that money will count against the Rangers cap.
This article will be updated whenever anything new is made public, including any potential comments from Richards and/or the Rangers.
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