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New York Rangers buy out Brad Richards – SportsUntapped.com
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Added June 23rd, 2014 by Ian

New York Rangers buy out Brad Richards
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The New York Rangers finally ran out of patience with forward Brad Richards even though he helped the club reach the Stanley Cup Final this season and have bought out his contract. The Rangers announced on June 20 that Richards will be paid off the last six years of his $60 million nine-year contract. Richards signed the long-term deal back in 2011 and was costing the Rangers $6.67 million of salary-cap space per year. The Rangers will pay the player two-thirds of the contract price over the next 12 years in the buyout agreement.

Richards released a statement though the Rangers franchise which said the past few days gave certainly been tough on him since he loved living in new York and being a Ranger. He added that the fans, his teammates, and team staff were all great to him and he had the chance to make many new friends during his time in the city. He went on to say that he’ll cherish his time as a Ranger and thanked general manager Glen Sather and club owner James Dolan for handling the situation with class.

The 34-year-old Richards played all 82 games with New York in the 2013/14 season and finished second on the team in goals and third in points with 20 goals and 31 assists. He also added five goals and seven assists in 25 postseason contests. However, the longer the playoffs went the more ineffective he seemed to be. This resulted in Richards being demoted to the fourth line for the last two games of the Stanley Cup Final series loss against the Los Angeles Kings.

In three seasons as a Ranger, Richards scored 151 points on 46 goals and 105 assists in 210 regular-season contests and added 28 more points in 55 postseason games. Sather also released a statement which tanked Richards for everything he’s contributed to the Rangers organization both on and off the ice. He added that buying Richards out was an extremely difficult decision to come to since he has so much respect for the player’s leadership skills and guidance for the team’s younger players. Sather remarked that Richards is a great hockey player, but an even better person.

Richards was originally selected by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the third round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft with the 64th pick overall. He has played in 982 career regular-season games and has scored 867 points on 267 goals and 600 assists with the Rangers, Lightning, and Dallas Stars. He’s also appeared in 118 postseason games and has racked up 90 points in them. He scored 26 points in 23 playoff games in the 2003/04 season to help lead Tampa Bay to their one and only Stanley Cup triumph.

It’s possible that Richards ends up back in Tampa since his agent Pat Morris remarked to the Tampa Bay Times that his client would certainly be interested in rejoining the club now that he’s a free agent. Each team has until June 30 to buy out players according to the NHL’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. They were allowed to buyout a maximum of two players over the past two seasons. The Rangers have used up both of their buyout options since they also bought out the contract of defenseman Wade Redden last year.

 
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