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Alain Vigneault: No decision on Brad Richards' potential buyout yet

By Brian Stubits | CBSSports.com

Brad Richards had 12 points in 25 postseason games. (Getty Images)
Brad Richards had 12 points in 25 postseason games. (Getty Images)

More NHL Offseason: NHL rumors | Updating rumor mill | 2014-15 preseason odds

The general assumption is that it's fait accompli that Brad Richards' contract will be bought out using the Rangers' remaining compliance buyout but that doesn't appear to be the case.

New York had its cleanout day on Monday and partook in the quasi exit interviews with the media that accompanies that. Included of course was coach Alain Vigneault and he talked about his high-priced veteran forward and his uncertain future with the club.

The key word there is uncertain as it remains that way.

Vigneault also went on to say he's a big fan of Richards, who was a bit more than just one of their skaters but was more or less their captain after Ryan Callahan was traded to Tampa Bay.

Still, the odds are certainly in favor of Richards being bought out. Richards is signed for the next six years still at an annual average of $6.67 million against the cap. For a team that has a lot of players to re-sign, that's a lot of money that could be used to help keep the team that reached the Stanley Cup Final largely together.

Not to mention Richards is already showing signs of a decline in his career, projecting out the next six years at that price is a tough picture for the Rangers. Rangers GM Glen Sather elected not to use his buyout on Richards last season and while Richards was not bad for them, he saw a new career low in points per game over a full season with 0.62.

Richards was struggling some in the postseason as he ended up being demoted to the fourth line by the end of the Cup Final after he was a healthy scratch last postseason under coach John Tortorella.

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