BY BOB HOLT
Things can change quickly in a week in the NHL.
NHL teams were permitted two compliance buyouts in the last collective bargaining agreement with players to create needed space under the salary cap. A week ago Brad Richards was playing for a Stanley Cup, and now he is a free agent.
The expected buyout was announced on Friday. ESPN New York reports that Richards will receive $12.6 million of his remaining salary over the next 12 years plus $8 million in signing bonuses for the next three summers. Richards signed with the Rangers in 2011, a nine-year deal worth $60 million.
Richards was released mainly because the team has eight players who will become restricted or unrestricted free agents on July 1. According to the New York Daily News, the Rangers will now have $6.67 million in salary cap room to sign players such as Derick Brassard and Dominic Moore, or to try to negotiate contract extensions with center Derek Stepan of defenseman Marc Staal.