It is a fait accompli that Brad Richards has worn the Blueshirt for the final time. It is only a matter of timing as to when management exercises its final amnesty buyout on the team’s de-facto captain, whose tenure over three years added class and a substantial presence to the organization. Richards will leave the Rangers in a far better place than when he joined them. His contract has paid for itself.
This isn’t really surprising news, as it has been widely speculated that the Rangers will use their final compliance buyout on Richards for over a year. It isn’t a matter of performance or leadership, it’s simply risk management. The cap recapture penalty is far too great for the Rangers to risk keeping Richards around. This isn’t confirmed yet, so anything can happen.