Richards was long expected to be a buyout candidate, particularly after the Kings sent him and his $5.75 million cap hit to the AHL in the 2015 season after he passed unclaimed through waivers.
The buyout is a bit of a disaster for the Kings. Richards has five years left on his deal with a $5.75 million cap hit. In actual cash, he’d make $6 million in the 2015 coming season and $5.5, $4.5, $3, and $3 in the remaining seasons.
The buyout gives him $1,466,667 per year over the 8 years in cash. In terms of a cap hit, here’s how the hit will look (from 2015) of the ten years, starting from the 2015 season: $1,216,667, $1,716,667, $2,716,667, $4,216,667 for two years, then $1,466,667 for five years, according to Cap Friendly.
They will be lost over $4 million in cap space in two consecutive seasons for a player who hasn’t player for the team in three-four years. It’s hard not to see their current situation as a major misstep for Dean Lombardi who chose not to use a compliance buyout on Richards. No matter how you felt about the guy, it was clear that you’d hate that cap hit six years down the road. A compliance buyout would have saved the team a lot of trouble.
Additionally, Richards signed a 1 year, 1 million dollar contract with the Capitals in January 2016. This contract was prorated at the time of signing.