NEW YORK (AP) - The Rangers are buying out the contract of veteran forward Brad Richards, creating much-needed salary-cap space and parting ways with New York's de facto captain one week after being eliminated from the Stanley Cup finals.
Both the Rangers and Richards' agent, Pat Morris, confirmed the move Friday.
The 34-year-old Richards had six years remaining on the nine-year, $60 million deal he signed in 2011, and this move will remove his $6.67 million salary-cap charge. Richards will receive two-thirds of the remaining money to be paid out over 12 years - a total of $12.6 million.
Richards will also be paid $8 million in signing bonuses over the next three seasons. He didn't have to clear waivers before the buyout because his contract had a no-movement clause.
Richards, demoted to the fourth line in the finals against Los Angeles, will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.