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Rangers Buy Out Brad Richards - Signs With Blackhawks

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  • Rangers Buy Out Brad Richards - Signs With Blackhawks

    New York Rangers buy out remaining six years on Brad Richards' contract - ESPN New York

    The New York Rangers, as expected, have bought out Brad Richards from the remainder of his contract, it was announced Friday.

    Both the Rangers and Richards' agent, Pat Morris, confirmed the move.

    Richards, 34, had six years remaining on his contract, paying him an average of $6.67 million per season. He signed a $60 million, nine-year deal with the Rangers in the summer of 2011.

    "Tough last few days," Richards said in a statement. "I loved being a Ranger and living in New York and playing at MSG in front of great fans. ... (President and GM) Glen Sather, the management and owner, Mr. Dolan, are all class acts. I want to thank them for letting me be a part of New York life and the Rangers family."

    As per the buyout rules, Richards will get two-thirds of the $19 million remaining in salary (a total of $12.6 million, paid out over the next 12 years) on his deal plus the full $8 million still owed in signing bonuses that are due over the next three summers. Once everything is paid out, Richards will have been paid about $51 million. (He made just over $2 million in salary last season during the lockout year out of his $4 million salary.)

    He didn't have to clear waivers before the buyout because his contract had a no-movement clause.

    Richards was a popular leader on a Rangers squad that surprised many in reaching the Stanley Cup finals this season before losing to the favored Los Angeles Kings. The Rangers also reached the Eastern Conference finals in 2012, losing to New Jersey.

    But this is the last summer for NHL teams to take advantage of compliance buyouts, which don't count against the salary cap. The Rangers had to make a difficult financial decision to give them more cap/payroll flexibility moving forward, even though they valued Richards as a person and player.

    Sather called the decision "extremely difficult," adding that Richards' "leadership and guidance for our young players was invaluable."

    The native of Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island, had 51 points (20 goals and 31 assists) in 82 regular-season games this season and added five goals and 12 points in 25 playoff games.

    He now becomes an unrestricted free agent, able to sign with any of the other 29 NHL teams starting July 1, but is not allowed to re-sign with the Rangers.

  • #2
    Chicago Blackhawks sign veteran center Brad Richards - ESPN Chicago

    Veteran center Brad Richards has signed with the Chicago Blackhawks after being bought out by the New York Rangers last week.

    The one-year deal is worth $2 million, a source confirmed to

    "It's a big moment for us to be able to add someone of his caliber as a hockey player and as an individual," Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said on a conference call. "He brings so many things to the table for us. He's certainly got the experience and leadership. I think his character off the ice is something (that) sometimes gets overlooked and is important to us. He's got sort of the whole package we're excited about."

    The 34-year-old center was a key part of the Rangers' surprising run to the Stanley Cup finals this spring, acting as the de facto captain for the Blueshirts despite the uncertainty of his future in New York.

    Richards, who had the remaining six years of a nine-year, $60 million contract with New York bought out to free up needed cap space, now joins a strong Blackhawks team that has been looking for help down the middle.

    "If I was going to go to Chicago, it was going to be this way," Richards said on a conference call. "I didn't go into free agency thinking anything. I was very flexible coming in because I'm pretty confident I can still play a lot of hockey in this league. I just went to the Stanley Cup final. You get the itch when you get that far. You want to win.

    "I saw an opportunity to play on a great team and fill a role, but also these guys are relevant every year. I just thought this was a great fit. It wasn't trying to be here long term. If it's one year, that's fine. Hopefully we can make it work. Who knows what can happen down the road. I can't predict that. I'm not really worried about it. I want to get there and enjoy this opportunity."