Kukla's Korner Hockey
by George Malik on 06/28/13 at 03:33 PM ET
From TSN's Bob McKenzie:
For the next calendar year, anyway...
added 5:27pm, via Katie Strang of ESPN New York,
The decision to keep Richards leaves the Rangers open to significant cap recapture penalties -- upwards of $17 million -- should the former Conn Smythe Trophy winner retire before the expiration of his contract in 2019.
Richards signed a nine-year, $60 million deal in July 2011.
The Murray Harbor, Prince Edward Island native is looking to have a bounce-back season after a lockout-shortened 2013 campaign he characterized as a "mess."
Richards may be one benefactor of the team's coaching change now that Alain Vigneault is behind the bench. Richards failed to thrive under John Tortorella's taxing, defensively structured system in 2013, particularly as a key cog for the team's dreadful power-play unit.
Vigneault is regarded as a much more affable coach, and one that finds ways for his offensive talents to flourish.
If Richards follows up with another disappointing season, the Rangers can still exercise their existing compliance buyout on him next summer, provided he does not get hurt. A team cannot buy out an injured player.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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