According to Bob McKenzie of TSN, the New York Rangers have announced that they will be holding onto their final compliance buyout, which means Brad Richards will be remaining with the team for at least another season. There has been a lot of back and forth over the last several weeks, as the Rangers management was still on the fence about a decision on Richards.
Following the end of the 2013 season, where Richards found himself scratched for the final two games, it was almost a given that he would be gone pretty quickly once the buyout period opened. Then along came Alain Vigneault, which basically sent everything up into a frenzy, as the Rangers started to backtrack on their original thoughts.
There's no doubt that the coaching transition from John Tortorella to Alain Vigneault played a big part in management's decision. Vigneault is very big on zone matching, and could provide Richards with every possible opportunity to return to his normal form.
It also makes sense. The Rangers are on an upward trend, and basically have a "win now" type of mentality. While it's tough to eat up the cap space with Richards' on the payroll, there aren't too many serviceable options out on the market in the event that he was sent packing.
With the remaining restricted free agents left to sign, the New York Rangers will likely be heading into the 2013-2014 season with the same crew they finished off with last season. The Rangers won't have nearly as much cap space to chase around free agents on July 5th, so we can all make plans elsewhere.
The Rangers will have the option to exercise their final compliance buyout at the end of next season (in the event Richards is healthy), where Richards' cards will likely be stacked against him. For now though, Brad Richards will remain a member of the New York Rangers.