4:13PM: Glen Sather told Chris Johnston outside the NHL Board of Governors meeting that a decision on Richards is coming “shortly.”
2:33PM: In the NY Post, Larry Brooks writes that there is a sense that the Rangers would prefer not to use their remaining compliance buyout on Brad Richards right now but want to retain the option in case another team uses their compliance buyout on a player the Ranger want to sign.
If a player becomes a free agent that the Rangers weren’t expecting than they could then use their buyout on Richards to free up the space to sign that player.
The buyout period closes on July 4 at 5PM.
Adam Rotter: If the Rangers are undecided, I think it comes down to Glen Sather and deciding which way he wants to look at the franchise. In the short-term, if Richards can bounce back, like many believe he will, the Rangers will have depth at center, another scorer and all the other intangibles that made Richards attractive in the first place. If Sather views Richards as a crucial piece towards winning the Stanley Cup next season, he may take a risk and keep him without thinking about the long-term impact.
The other view for Sather is that if he keeps Richards and then he gets hurt next year, preventing a buyout, or retires early, it won’t be his problem. By the time the Rangers would be hit with the cap recapture penalties, Sather almost certainly won’t be the GM. Jeff Gorton and/or Jim Schoenfeld, one of which will likely replace Sather, are also involved in these discussions as is James Dolan. It could come down to trying to win now and deal with the consequences later or move away from Richards for the betterment of the long-term goals.