The first buy-outs of the offseason are slowly starting to trickle in. This morning Ilya Bryzgalov, Danny Briere, and Tomas Kaberle are joined by Vincent Lecavalier as players who were bought-out of their contracts thus far. The Lecavalier buy-out is, in my opinion, not "shocking" but it certainly is surprising (I expected we'd see Vinny hit the free agency market next offseason). Lecavalier, 33, will have plenty of plenty of suitors because of his skillset and his bounce-back year in terms of production this past season. It will be interesting to see what he commands in the free agent market.
Some food for thought on Lecavalier from Dan Rosen's twitter stream:
Lecavalier news is about an hour old and I've seen tweets saying he could land in Calgary, NYR and Montreal. It's only just beginning.— Dan Rosen (@drosennhl) June 27, 2013
After the Lecavalier buy-out happened Darren Dreger had this to say on twitter regarding Brad Richards:
Rangers remain undecided on Brad Richards buyout. As is the case with Lecavalier, teams are eager to see Richards hit the market.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) June 27, 2013
That the Rangers are still undecided on Richards is hardly surprising but it certainly would be nice for this all to just get settled and happen already. The Rangers are almost certainly weighing the options of available UFAs (including players that are hitting free agency after being bought-out by their respective teams) and considering if Richards could find his game under new head coach Alain Vigneault. One could say that the Rangers are still undecided because they have to feel confident that they can replace Richards' production through free agency before they can buy him out. There is a lot of depth available in the free agent market this year but the Rangers aren't the only team looking to add speed and depth.
For now Rangers fans collectively hold their breath and wait to see when someone with a little blue check mark next to their name tweets Brad Richards' name in the same sentence as "it's done" and "bought out".
We will keep you updated with any developments or news on the Richards front or major buy-outs. Stay-tuned Banter Nation... today could get interesting.
Just chatted with Brad Richards who says he still hasn't heard either way yet from the Rangers...— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 27, 2013
Somewhere Slats is chewing on a cigar and scowling into the darkness of his office (in my head, the lights in his office are never on. Ever.).