The cap space strapped Chicago Blackhawks have signed forward Brad Richards to a one year / $2 million deal, which includes a no movement clause.
2 Million dollars for 1 year for Brad Richards in Chicago. #SNSigningSeason
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) July 1, 2014
Richards was bought out 10 days ago by the New York Rangers, three years into a nine year, $60 million contract. Not a bad deal for Richards; still get paid a ridiculous sum of money by a team that no longer wants him, all while playing for a team that is the favorite to win the Stanley Cup next season. He will earn $3.05 million from the New York Rangers next season, in addition to the $2.0 million he will get from the Blackhawks.
Now the big question is what the Chicago Blackhawks are going to do in order to clear cap space, as they were already over the $69 million limit before signing Richards. Blackhawks GM Stan Bowman will have to get creative, but considering the New Jersey Devils are paying Mike Cammalleri $5 million next season, Brad Richards for $2 million is a total steal.
While the buyout from the Rangers would have you believe that Richards had a terrible season with the Rangers in 2013-14, he still put up 20 goals and 31 assists. The main reason for the buyout was to clear out cap room and avoid a potential cap recapture penalty further down the line if Richards did not play out the entire nine year deal. It was more of a business move than a hockey transaction.
Cap issues aside, the Chicago Blackhawks may have taken the crown for the biggest steal of the day. How often is a player like Richards going to land on your doorstep for $2 million?