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Around the Seawall: Tim and Sid talk Canucks, Willie Desjardins; Rangers buy out Brad Richards
A few months ago, radio host Sid Seixeiro was launching into a tirade, tearing apart the Vancouver Canucks after the Orcas were railroaded 6-1 by the Dallas Stars.
At the time, the Canucks were fighting for a playoff spot but floundering in the process. They would miss the playoffs by a pretty solid eight points, and the Canucks would fire both general manager Mike Gillis and head coach John Tortorella by the time the Stanley Cup Final would be won by the Los Angeles Kings.
But on Friday – with news that the Canucks were apparently on the verge of making AHL bench boss Willie Desjardins their new skipper, and with Trevor Linden and Jim Benning now splitting the brain that was Gillis – Seixeiro and Tim Micallef were slightly less subdued, and even complimentary, in their assessment of Vancouver's team, on their Tim & Sid podcast.
Alain Vigneault's still-new team will have an even newer look next season.
The New York Rangers will buy out well-paid center Brad Richards, the team announced on Friday, and will pay him $12.6 to cover his termination, plus $8 million in signing bonuses to be paid over the next three seasons.
"I am a big fan of Brad Richards," said Vigneault on Friday. "He is a classy, classy individual. If you look at Brad's overall season he had a real good year.
"I am very happy with what he brought to the table. A veteran player from day one that was a real good extension of the coaching staff in the dressing room. He should walk away from this season very pleased with how he played and how he contributed to our team."
Richards was making $6.67 million a season after signing a nine-year contract for $60 million in 2011. Last year, he had 51 points in 82 games and helped lead New York to the Stanley Cup Finals, although he played on the team's fourth line the Cup Final against L.A.
In the end, his cap hit and demoted role within the team were too much for New York to carry on. (It was also rumoured last summer that New York would buy out Richards' deal, after the playmaker struggled through injuries in 2013 and was benched in the playoffs by then-coach John Tortorella.)
This is the Rangers' second compliance buyout. Both had to be used by July 1, 2014.
"Next year's team is going to be different, and you've got to go through the same process," said Vigneault. "It's going to be a challenge to make the playoffs, and then you take it one series at a time."
The Rangers' most expensive forward is now Rick Nash, who is being paid $7.8 million a season through 2018. Martin St. Louis will make $5.625 million next year and defencemen Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh combine for a total $10.2 million through 2019.
Goalie Henrik Lundqvist will make $8.5 million a year through the 2021 season.