Brad Richards sat in a chair in the middle of the dressing room, pushed from his locker by the hordes of media and likely pushed from his time with the Rangers. The thrilling 3-2 double-overtime loss to the Kings in Game 5 of the Stanley Cup finals gave Los Angeles its second championship in the past three years and ended the Rangers’ season. Richards now is looking at a summer when it is close to inevitable the team will use their final amnesty buyout on him, voiding his annual $6.67 million salary-cap hit that would go through the 2019-20 season. “Tonight is not a night to reminisce,” Richards said. “There will be a time this summer when you think back to what an amazing ride it was. It has to be amazing to get this far. Things have to come together. No one will ever know except for us how much fun it was, how we came together. When you lose three games in overtime in the final, it’s hard to explain.” Because of the cap recapture clause that was part of the most recent collective bargaining agreement, if the 34-year-old Richards were to retire before his contract ends, the Rangers would be on the hook for a lot of money, and a lot of it toward the cap. That makes his situation one the Rangers can hardly afford, especially in light of his postseason struggles. Although Richards was a terrific leader, he was demoted to a fourth-line winger for Game 4, and played that same role for most of Game 5, before being moved up in the first overtime. He finished with 21:26 of ice time, and had one assist and four shots on net in eight attempts.
Game 5 loss is likely Richards’ farewell to Rangers
New York Post | Jun 14