He's saying "they can't buy him out". Doesn't matter if Richards put up 1000 points next season. It's still a stupid decision. If he gets injured, the cap penalties could CRIPPLE this franchise cap-wise.
if he gets injured LTIR completely eliminates his cap impact.
Richards can't keep up with the play anymore. All of the players were locked out. Not just Richards. Not all of them played in Europe. What is the excuse for Richards? He couldn't make a play or do anything. He was a healthy scratch in the playoffs. Kris Newbury was his replaceable. Kris Newbury. He was the 4th line center before being a scratch. He is paid elite player money. His contract expires in 2020. His first 6 years of the contract have an AAV of $9.5M. $57M. 6 years. $9.5M. The CBA changed. Its time to cut ties and move on.
Ryan Callahan had much better linemates and got much more minutes to be placed in a position to rack up point totals.
You don't see that list as odd to you? Callahan. Gaborik. Nash. All RWers. Does it have to do with the fact that his centers were rotated like crazy? Where are the other LWers? Oh wait, they all rotated like crazy too. Between injuries, the massive trade and the countless promotions/demotions that occurred in just 48 games, that list includes the only forwards who consistently played on the team. Coincidence?