Brad Richards 1

Brad Richards To Return

The Rangers will not use their buy-out option for Brad Richards, meaning the 32 year old center will return for at least one more season with the Rangers.  New York will still have the option to buy Richards out at the end of the season, but would be unable to buy him out if he is injured.

There had been reports that the Rangers brain trust – recently adding Alain Vigneault to the mix – wanted to evaluate as a team before making a decision.  There was also speculation that the Rangers may have been looking to see what other teams might do before making a decision.

With the retention of Richards, the Rangers do put themselves at risk on the remainder of the contract, due to the league’s “recapture” rules, which were introduced in the latest CBA to combat deals longer than six years, where the player was likely to retire before the end.  Under the rules, if Richards was to retire early, the Rangers would get a substantial salary cap hit on whatever remains of his seven remaining years.

Meanwhile the introduction of Vigneault as coach could benefit the veteran playmaker, who struggled with fitness and form in the shortened season.  Vigneault’s looser reigns could mean Richards has a better chance of hitting his career numbers than under Tortorella’s more defensive style.

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