from Ronnie Shuker of The Hockey News,
... the buyout scuttlebutt buzzing around Richards this post-season suggests Sunday could be his final game in a Kings uniform after Los Angeles lost to the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in Game 6 Friday night to even the series 3-3 and set up a Game 7 back in Illinois.
That’s right, one of the most money players in hockey history, who has yet to turn 30 years old, might become a casualty of the league’s money game. That’s what the NHL has come to in the salary cap system. Arguably, no active player has had more team success throughout his career than Richards, and yet his current team may end up not wanting him, even if it wins with him, yet again.
Richards is halfway through a 12-year, $69-million contract he signed with Philadelphia in 2008. He played the first three seasons of his deal in Philly before the Flyers traded him in 2011 to Los Angeles, where he’s played the past three with the Kings. He has $29 million remaining on his contract, which carries a cap hit of $5.8 million. It would cost the Kings $19.3 million over 12 years to buy him out.
His production has slipped this season, but that’s not the real reason why Richards might be bought out by the Kings. Several others, all out of his control, may dictate his departure out of L.A