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May 23, 2013 | 11:29am ET
Richards finished in Big Apple?
TheFourthPeriod.com

Veteran forward and Stanley Cup champion Brad Richards might have played his last game with the New York Rangers and didn't even know it.

The 33-year-old won't be playing in tonight's playoff game against the Bruins, and if Boston wins, they'll sweep the series and move on to the Eastern Conference Final.

Richards confirmed to the media this morning that Rangers head coach John Tortorella notified him earlier today that he will be a healthy scratch for Game 4 of the club's second-round playoff match-up against the Bruins.

The native of Murray Harbour, P.E.I., has struggled mightily during these playoffs, registering just one goal in 10 games.

Tortorella, among others, has been very critical of Richards' play of late, prompting speculation that the winner of the 2003-04 Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoffs' MVP) could be bought out by the club this summer.

Richards, who is signed through the 2019-20 season, has seven years left on his contract at an annual salary cap hit of $6.667 million.

While he's scheduled to earn $9 million next season, his salary drops to $1 million, per year, in the final three seasons of his deal.

The Rangers could opt to buy out his contract, which will not count against the salary cap, but they'd be paying him two-thirds of his contract over the next 14 seasons.

It's unclear what direction the Rangers plan on taking with Richards, though if the Blueshirts are bounced from the playoffs tonight, his fate could become known sooner rather than later.


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