Earlier today, CapGeek started to tweet out some of the cap figures that teams may face if players retire early and they are hit with the cap recapture benefit.
Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada tweeted a four letter reply to CapGeek, “L.T.I.R.”
Friedman was indicating that teams will find a way to avoid the penalty by placing those players on Long Term Injured Reserve. Placing them on LTIR would indicate that the player is trying to play but an injury isn’t letting him and the team could apply for cap relief.
On Hockey Central at Noon, Nick Kypreos and Doug MacLean were talking about this topic and said that the cap recapture per season can’t be a number that is more than 7.5% of a teams salary cap.
MacLean noted that teams could go the Tim Thomas route where a player doesn’t report and is then suspended. The player isn’t paid, which he wouldn’t be if he retired, and they could toll the contracts or just let them go.
Nick Kypreos said that it would be tough to do this for three or four seasons which is around how long most of these players were going to leave on their contract when they retire.
THIS SECTION is about the Brad Richards buyout.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that even though a compliance buyout is still likely, there is a better chance that Brad Richards will stay with the Rangers than there was prior to John Tortorella being fired.
Brooks says that the next coach of the Rangers will have input on the immediate future of Richards and that the organization would prefer to get one more year out of Richards before sending him away.
Keeping Richards though could lead to a salary cap issue down the road if Richards retires with between 1 and 3 years left on his contract.
Brooks says that the cap charge per season for Richards, with the cap recapture penalty, would be $5.66 million.
THIS SECTION is all about the idea of the Rangers buying out Brad Richards.
Bob McKenzie said on TSN Radio Wednesday that Brad Richards was destined to be bought out the day the cap recapture clause was put into the CBA.
McKenzie said, “If Richards doesn’t play the final three years of his contract, the Rangers will be hit with a cap recapture penalty is going to get dinged and dinged pretty good. The final three years are bogus years and he isn’t playing them. There is going to be a cap penalty for the Rangers if Brad Richards retires before that contract is up. I think it’s a given that they will buy him out.”
He adds “It’s just a question of do you buy him out this summer or next summer. With a new coach coming in, it probably makes sense to wait a year, but you can’t buyout an injured player. So heaven forbid Brad Richards gets a concussion or any long-term injury, that would prevent you from buying him out in the compliance buyout period next summer.”
The Rangers would be charged a total of $17 million if Richards retires and doesn’t play the last three years based on the amount of money he has been paid vs how much they were charged against the salary cap.
Richards will be paid a total of $57 million through the first six years of his contract. The last three years all have a salary of $1 million each.
Richards cap hit is $6.67 and when counted up, through the first six years of the deal, is a total of $40 million.
At CSN Philly, Sarah Baicker writes about some of the details involved with compliance buyouts.
She notes that as per the CBA, a player who is bought out can not be re-signed to the team that bought him out for a lower contract.
A player who is bought out by a team can not return to that team for an entire season following the summer that he was bought out.
So the Rangers could not buyout Brad Richards to get his cap hit off the books and then sign him to a deal more in-line with his production and performance. Richards would also be prohibited from being a Ranger for the entire 2013-14 season.
The buyout period is expected to start 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Final ends.
A compliance buyout would remove a players cap hit from the Rangers salary cap, though the player would still be paid 2/3 of the remaining contract.
The Rangers have one compliance buyout remaining, to use either this summer or in 2014. The Rangers used their first compliance buyout on Wade Redden before the season started.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the salary cap implications, more than anything else, could lead to the Rangers using an amnesty buyout on Brad Richards this summer.
Brooks notes that due to a new feature in the CBA, the Rangers would be given a cap charge if Richards was still on the roster and retired before hie contract was up.
The final three seasons of Richards contract carry a base salary of $1 million while his cap hit stays at $6.67 million per season.
With the cap recapture clause in the CBA, the Rangers would be charged with the following cap hits if Richards retired before his contract was up:
- If he retired with three-years left on his contract: $5.667 million
- If he retired with two-years left on his contract: $8.5 million
- If he retired with one-year left on his contract: $17 million
The cap recapture clause is meant to punish teams that signed players to front loaded contracts.
The Rangers can use an amnesty buyout on Richards this summer or next summer.
If the Rangers wait until next summer to try and use the amnesty buyout, they run the risk that Richards could get injured and prevent the Rangers from buying him out.
Earlier today on TSN Radio, Bob McKenzie was asked about Brad Richards.
McKenzie said, “I wouldn’t be surprised if they used a compliance buyout on him this summer, but that was a risk they took when they signed him. No one was suggesting at the time that Richards was done, but the amount of money and years they gave him certainly gave pause to wonder if they had overdone it. As far as Richards/Tortorella, of all the guys on the team, Brad Richards knew what he was getting into. In fact the reason he signed with the Rangers was because Tortorella was there. This is the one guy on the team who wanted to hook up with John Tortorella no questions asked because of their past in Tampa Bay. I don’t think you can blame Brad Richards performance on Torts, that is on Brad Richards.”
Richards had one shot last night and played 8:10. He had five shifts in the first period, for a total of 4:28, and then had a combined five shifts in the final two periods.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers wanted Brad Richards because of how he plays it cool in big moments, but that Richards game is in “such a state of utter disrepair” that looking back seems only seems to taunt everyone involved.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes about the issues going on with Brad Richards right now and how they are impacting coach John Tortorella.
Brooks writes that Richards is one of Tortorella’s favorite players ever and that it has to be “tearing up” Tortorella’s insides to place Richards on the fourth line and out of a big scoring role.
He writes that “everyone” thinks that the lockout, where Richards stayed local and did a lot of work with Hurricane Sandy relief, has had a negative impact and is the cause of his struggles.
Brooks says that the Rangers need more from Richards and that putting him in a scoring role could potentially spark him. He adds that Richards has done nothing to deserve an increase in playing time.
Richards centered the Rangers fourth line in game four.
Adam Rotter: It’s easy to blame the lockout and especially the days of training camp he missed with the flu for his struggles. I hope that is the case or that something has been nagging him for most of the year and it’s enough to hamper his play but not enough to keep him out of the lineup. I want to believe that there is some tangible reason for why Richards had the season he did and hope that it’s not because his game has diminished this much.
With the amnesty buyout period stretching through after 13-14, I think the Rangers will keep Richards next season and then make a decision. That being said, you can make the argument to do it this summer and free up more cap space. I think the Rangers want to see one more full season from Richards before making their choice.
Below is what John Tortorella thinks about how older players should prepare for the season.
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During TSN’s trade deadline coverage, former NHLer Shane Hnidy and former GM Craig Bustton discussed whether this summer was the right time for the Rangers to use an amnesty buyout on Brad Richards.
The Rangers used their first of two amnesty buyouts earlier this year on Wade Redden.
Following this season, Richards has seven more seasons on his contract and a cap hit of $6.6 million.
Button and Hnidy both agreed that this summer was not the time to use the amnesty buyout but that if Richards doesn’t show improvement through next season, he could be a definite candidate for the amnesty buyout then.
Teams are allowed to use amnesty buyouts through the summer of 2014.
In the Ottawa Sun, Bruce Garrioch writes that this is something that the Rangers are considering as they look to clear more cap space.
Richards contract is worth a total of $60 million and $24 million of it will be paid out by the end of the season.
The Rangers would owe Richards $27 million for the next 15 or so years if he is bought out. That money would not count against the cap.
In the Edmonton Journal, Jim Matheson lists Richards as one of his top ten candidates to be bought out.
He puts the odds of the Rangers buying out Richards at 50/50, thinks that Richards is playing like a center worth only $4 million and says that the game may be too fast for him now.
Adam Rotter: I think that the chances of the Rangers buying out Richards this summer are small. It’s not fair to just give Richards a pass for this year because of the lockout and having the flu during a short training camp. He has underachieved on the ice, but with the Rangers commitment to Richards, his role as a leader, the lack of depth at center and a chance to redeem himself in a full season, Richards should be on the team next year. If he finds himself struggled during next season, then it’s much more likely that they use the buyout in 2014 when they could clear his cap number and create more space with the salary cap expected to rebound and rise that year.
In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that it may be time to at least discuss the possibility that the Rangers will use their second compliance buyout on Brad Richards this summer.
Brooks writes that this will be a critical summer for Richards and the Rangers with the cap going down to $60 million, “so for all intents and purposes, the Rangers will have to declare next summer on Richards. This is one on which they won’t be able to procrastinate, even as particularly painful as such a decision would ultimately be for everyone involved.”
He adds,”we are 17 games into a 48-game season that could be followed by up to 28 more in the playoffs. And so, again, this Richards buyout talk is indeed a case of premature speculation. But the obligation falls on Richards to ensure it doesn’t become more than that.”
The Rangers used one of their two buyouts on Wade Redden and they have the opportunity to use their second compliance buyout this summer or next.
Richards, 32, has a no-move clause and seven more seasons on his contract following this one with a cap hit of $6.67 million.
Adam Rotter: With the salary cap going down and nearly everone’s contract expiring in 2014, it is something that the Rangers need to consider. Heading into the season I dismissed any notion that the Rangers would use a buyout on Richards, but since then he has struggled mightily to even be the streaky player he was last season. Maybe it all stems from the flu in training camp and after a summer or working hard and a full training camp, Richards, at 33, returns to being an effective player. Maybe all the minutes he has played in his career have caught up to him, and like Scott Gomez, he has become a shell of who he was.
I still want to believe in Richards and hope that it all just clicks against Winnipeg. He is an important person in the locker room and has become a big player in the community, but that can only take you so far. It’s up to him to make this a topic that we can look back on and laugh about the Rangers even considering.