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05-14-2013, 12:05 PM
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I'd say the likelihood of Richards being bought out this year is slim, if only because there is a dearth of elite free-agent forwards, and the amount we'd have to eat (full amount remaining, or approximately $36 million) becomes far more palatable next offseason (approximately $27 million), and that's also in conjunction when players who have enormously long "retirement" contracts figure to at least be rumored to be on the compliance buyout block, meaning there'd be significantly more talent available next offseason, just by virtue of the compliance buyouts.

That said, I wouldn't be shocked if he's bought out this offseason, I'd just find it incredibly unlikely.

FWIW, Kovalchuk has 11 years remaining on his contract, Ovechkin 8, Hossa 8, and Heatley's a UFA after next year.

Figure at least one complaince buyout in there, plus Heatley. That's where the Richards money should go.

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