from Katie Strang of ESPN New York,
The 33-year-old veteran, who has seven years remaining on a nine-year $60 million deal inked in July 2011, will be a prime candidate for a compliance buyout this summer. Richards said he has long been aware that scenario exists.
“That’s been written since probably a week into the season,” Richards said of the buyout talk. “That’s the business side of it. I’m playing hockey no matter what.”
Richards described his season as a “mess” and said it was tough to watch his team be eliminated from the post-season from the press box Saturday night. He was scratched for both Games 4 and 5 of the team’s semifinal set against the Boston Bruins, before which he was limited to only one point in 10 postseason games.
It was not a fun time. There’s no other way to really put it,” Richards said. “It’s tough, but life goes on and I’ve got to regroup and figure some things out and start over.”
Richards admitted that the lockout-shortened season was a challenge, and that he was not prepared in the same way as he would have been had it started on time.