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?”
THIS SECTION is all about a potential Richards buyout.
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.