6/16/14 | 12:11PM: The buyout period began at 12:01AM this morning. Players need to be placed on waivers for the intent of buying them out unless they have a No-Move Clause at which point it occurs without waivers.
Richards has a no-move clause.
6/14/14 | 10:36AM: John Shannon tweeted last night that the window to use a compliance buyout opens on Monday June 16th just after Midnight. (Sportsnet)
The buyout period begins 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final and it runs until June 30th at 5PM Eastern.
Using a compliance buyout on Richards would remove him from the Rangers salary cap but the Rangers would still owe Richards $1.05 million per year until 2025-26. (Cap Geek)
Richards has six years left on a nine-year deal that has a cap hit of $6.67 million. Richards has already received $33 million of the $60 million on his contract.
In the final three-years of his contract, the salary for Richards drops to $1 million per year. If Richards were to retire in 2017, the Rangers would be hit with cap penalties of $5.6 million for the next three seasons for the amount of money they saved with his cap hit vs his actual salary. (Cap Geek)
Larry Brooks writes that Brad Richards found out last year that he was being scratched in game four against Boston by hearing it from Michael Haley and Kris Newbury during a team dinner the night before the game. (NY Post)
Brooks says that Richards figured out that if both Haley and Newbury were playing, he would be out of the lineup. The next morning John Tortorella called Richards to tell him that he would be scratched for game four. (NY Post)
Tortorella, in repeatedly calling Richards a “hell of a hockey player” and someone that he “loves as a player and a person,” said that Richards was scratched because he didn’t fit on the fourth line and the centers on the top three lines had stepped up and were playing better than him.
Adam Rotter: The idea of buying Richards out after he had a better season was not something that made a lot of sense to me but as the playoffs have gone on and he has been both good and bad, I do think the team will ultimately buy him out when that window opens up. Richards has been a big part of this playoff run but most of his impact seems to be felt off the ice and not as much on it. He has had some good moments in the playoffs but hasn’t been the player the Rangers need him to be, especially as the games have gotten more important. I wish they could find a way to keep him but it just doesn’t seem likely. Richards lasting impact with the Rangers will be felt in the players like Derek Stepan, Ryan McDonagh and Chris Kreider who will continue to grow and take what he has taught them and pass that on to the next group of Rangers.
On TSN Drive today this afternoon, Dave Naylor asked Bob McKenzie about Brad Richards and what his future may hold after this season since the Rangers could use their final compliance buyout on him.
If Richards were to retire before his contract expires the Rangers would be hit with cap penalties that can vary depending on the season he retires. (Cap Geek)
McKenzie said, “the fact that he has played as well as he has will give them pause to consider but the sense I got a year ago, when they decided not to buy him out was that it was inevitable they would buy him out the next year for that very reason, that unless he is playing like one of your top two centers and doing it in such a fashion that you believe he will keep doing it for another 2-3 years and that you are obliged to buy him out. I don’t know if what has happened this season in the playoffs is enough to take that risk and maybe weigh it against where the cap is going and saying that maybe we can absorb this a little better because the cap was set to look like it was going to rocket up but now with the Canadian dollar it has tempered those expectations a bit. I think there are a lot of considerations there that we are not privy too on the financial side.”
Richards has six-years left on his deal with the Rangers but his salary per season in the final three years of his contract drops to $1 million.
On Richards, Alain Vigneault (via the NHL) said this today, “I would say to you that even when Ryan was here, since day one, Brad has been without a doubt one of my top go‑to guys. He came here with a great attitude. He came here with great work ethic. He’s been a really strong role model since day one since I’ve been here. I’ve really leaned on him and his experience. When Ryan left for Tampa, Brad was getting a very good friend, so he helped, obviously, build that relationship with the rest of his teammates. But since the first day this year he’s been a really big part of our team on the ice and in the dressing room and off the ice.”
4/15/14: 10:26PM: Brad Richards tells Larry Brooks that last season the potential that the Rangers could use an amnesty buyout on him was on his mind a lot, “consumed” him and “it took over my whole situation, to be honest about it.” (NY Post)
This season, Richards says that it’s been in the back of his mind but not weighing on him or impacting his game in any way. He adds that he has no idea if a decision has been made or which way the team may be leaning as he hasn’t spoken with anyone in management about it. (NY Post)
Richards says that he wants to play well in the playoffs not because of anything with his contract but because he is hungry to win another Stanley Cup. (NY Post)
Brooks describes the situation as “the possibility, if not the likelihood” that Richards will be bought out with no cap ramifications. (NY Post)
On the team going into the playoffs, Richards says that he likes the mix of veterans and young players and the ability of the team to win in different ways. (NY Post)
Adam Rotter: The thing with the Richards buyout that doesn’t make sense to me is why they would buy him out when he was much better this year. It would have been one thing to buy him out after a bad season like last year, but he has been much better this year so buying him out now, when you know he can still play good hockey, doesn’t make sense to me. The idea of buying him out, because of potential cap recapture penalties and because he isn’t worth his cap hit or salary is one thing, but to buy him out after he proved them right for keeping him doesn’t.
This summer is the Rangers last chance to use their final compliance buyout and the most likely candidate for would be center Brad Richards.
Nick Kypreos said on Hockey Central at Noon, in early November, “That talk is not going away. I can appreciate that he is a better player but he has not put him in a position that that thing was a thing of the past. I think he has done everything he possibly could, don’t think for one second that it isn’t almost a Vinny Lecavalier thing. The contract doesn’t work even with the cap going up. The contract can’t work moving forward.I can’t see it even if it goes up past 70+. I can’t say the Rangers ay they will live with the contract.”
Kypreos said on December 4th, “This is their last chance to go to that compliance buyout. He has been better….what has he got, he has six to go. Where will he be in 3 years. can you still afford a cap hit of $6.5 million?”
In the Ottawa Sun, Bruce Garrioch writes that with the Rangers needing to sign so many players, it’s expected that there will be talk again that the Rangers could buy Richards out.
Richards’ declining PP production makes him a prime candidate for a buyout and that his regular season production is on pace with last season. The buyout, which wouldn’t count against the cap, would cost the Rangers $18 million spread over 12 seasons. (ESPN Insider)
Bob Mckenzie said on 12/23, “gotta buy him out. I think so. Unless he comes back and plays like a legit number one center and you have reason to think he will continue down that road. Flashes of being pretty good won’t be good enough. I think they will have no choice but to use the compliance buyout and free up some cap space.”
Adam Rotter: Richards has been much better this season and seems like he has validated the decision not to buy him out last summer. This summer though the decision will be much tougher. The salary cap is going up, which means that the Rangers can carry Richards and still have room, but with core guys to re-sign and the chance to use that money elsewhere, it’s hard to see them holding on to Richards moving forward. It would be nice if the Rangers could keep rolling over the option to use the compliance buyout, because they really like what he brings on and off the ice, but they need to re-tool a bit and also protect themselves from a potential cap recapture penalty.
Pierre LeBrun writes at ESPN.com that he isn’t surprised by the Rangers decision to hold onto Richards and that he has been working out with Marty St. Louis in Connecticut.
LeBrun, who spoke with Richards earlier in the week, said that Richards sounded like “a man hell bent on proving to people he’s still an elite player.”
LeBrun also notes that when Richards and Alain Vigneault spoke, the conversation lasted for 90 minutes.
Both Steve Zipay, at Newsday, and Carp at Rangers Report, think that the Rangers should have bought Richards out with Zipay wondering how much Richards has left and Carp wonders if the Rangers would send Richards home to preserve his health if he doesn’t bounce back.
THIS SECTION is all about Richards and the potential buyout.
The Rangers have announced that they will not use a compliance buyout on Brad Richards or anyone else this summer.
The Rangers will have the option to buy Richards out next summer if he is healthy.
THIS SECTION is all about Richards and the potential buyout.
Adam Rotter: There is risk involved with this move, but the Rangers are showing confidence that Richards will return to playing at a high level after a down season. It’s a move to try and win now and deal with with the consequences later on. The belief is that Richards will retire with three years left on his contract, when his salary drops to $1 million per season, and leave the Rangers with over $5 million per season in cap penalties due to the cap recapture clause. But that only takes effect if Richards files his paperwork to retire. Presumably he could not report to training camp, report and “fail” his physical, report and get “injured” in training camp with a nagging issue that keeps him out the whole year. It’s all a little far fetched and the NHL certainly wouldn’t be happy about it, but they could be possibilities for him and the team down the line.
2:55PM: Louis Jean, a TV reporter in Montreal, tweets that the Rangers haven’t made a decision on Richards yet because there a differing opinions within the organization.
1:28PM: On TSN, Darren Dreger said that the expectation was for the Rangers to follow in the same path as Tampa Bay did, with Vinny Lecavalier, and buy out Richards but that things have changed a bit and that his sense is that the Rangers are going to announce that they are NOT buying out Richards.
He says that the Rangers seem like they are willing to allow Richards to prove he is as motivated as he says he is to return to being a top player.