In the salary cap era of the NHL, it takes a lot of tinkering and roster adjustments to field a competitive, Stanley Cup contending roster. On Friday, the Rangers made a move to free up cap space by buying out Brad Richards, according to ESPN's Pierre LeBrun.
Brad Richards has been bought out by the New York Rangers, source says— Pierre LeBrun (@Real_ESPNLeBrun) June 20, 2014
Talks of buying Richards out intensified after his lackluster postseason. While he scored five goals in the Rangers 25 playoff games, his performance landed him on the fourth line for the final two games of the Los Angeles Kings series. His scoring numbers in the regular season were down (20-30=51), and Richards still had six years remaining on his contract, which was slated to pay him $24 million over the next three seasons.
Again, the biggest driving force in this move was Richards' contract, which was originally a nine-year, $60 million when he signed in the summer of 2011. With Richards leaving the team, it also frees up a letter, as Richards was an assistant captain during his tenure in New York.