After coming off a really bad season, and looking like he aged 10 years from last year, rumor has it from New York Post writer Larry Brooks that New York Rangers center, Brad Richards, will not be bought out of his contract this summer, like everyone expected he would, which still has a ridiculous seven years and $36 million left on it.
Richards, in a strike shortened 48-game regular season, played 46 games and recorded only 34 points, 11 goals and 23 assists. In the playoffs this year, Richards did not fair any better. Actually he got worse. In 10 postseason games this year, Richards scored only 1 goal and got no assists in 10 games and then was a healthy scratch for the last two games before the Rangers were eliminated from the playoffs.
If the Rangers decide not to buy out Richards, proving the rumors true, then the Rangers can pretty much forget getting a big name this off season, like star defenseman Dustin Byfuglien, that is unless the Winnipeg Jets want Richards for him, which I highly doubt.
But maybe new Rangers coach Alain Vigneault thinks he can find a role on the team for Richards that he can thrive in and have a bounce back season. Also with the lack of depth at the center position that the Rangers have and with hardly any centers on the free agent market this year, maybe the Rangers are almost forced to keep Richards on the roster.
We will see I guess since it is just a rumor and only time will tell. In my opinion, after seeing Richards play this season, I think his career is ending, if not over already. Like I said before this season he looked like a man that aged 10 years from the previous season. Maybe he didn’t think the lockout would end and he eased up on his exercise regiment in the offseason? I don’t know but if he remains on the Rangers roster for next season, he better show us fans some signs of life immediately, at the beginning of next season, under Vigneault or I guarantee he will be booed out of town real soon.