It remains to be seen if the New York Rangers will use one of their compliance buyouts on Brad Richards, but the possibility has been raised ever since his disappointing playoff run that ended with him serving as a healthy scratch.
If the Rangers do buy out the final seven seasons on Richards’ nine-year, $60 million contract, he’ll likely to find a number of suitors. Among the interested parties would “absolutely” be the Philadelphia Flyers, according to a Philadelphia Inquirer source.
Richards would help replace the offense lost by Philadelphia’s own compliance buyout target: Daniel Briere.
Of course, the big sticking point would likely be money. Even if he’s bought out, Richard is likely to get paid handsomely by his new team. After all, he has 100 points in 128 regular season games with the Rangers, so he hasn’t exactly collapsed.
In fact, if the Rangers buy him out, it will likely have less to do with his $6,666,667 annual cap hit — which is skewed downwards because it’s a frontloaded deal — and more about the fear of paying the 33-year-old forward well past his prime.
So the Flyers would likely have to give him a good contract if they really want him and given that they’re expected to buy out Briere because of their difficult cap position, that’s easier said than done. Still, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren certainly hasn’t shied away from making bold moves, so you never know.