The latest on Brad and Mike Richards, the opponents for the 2015 Winter Classic are announced, the Devils re-sign Cam Janssen and what the 1999 Stanley Cup champion Dallas Stars are doing today. 

Rangers buy out Brad Richards.

Rangers buy out Brad Richards.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: As expected, the New York Rangers used their remaining compliance buyout to shed the remainder of Brad Richards’ contract. Richards is now an unrestricted free agent who can sign with any NHL club except for the Rangers.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Rangers management had no choice. They had over $53 million invested in just 12 players before the buyout, with Mats Zuccarello, Chris Kreider, Derick Brassard, Anton Stralman and Brian Boyle, among others, to re-sign or replace.  This move frees up over $6.6 million in cap space, giving them over $23 million to re-sign their key free agents.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: The Kings have announced they will not use a compliance buyout to shed the remainder of Mike Richards’ contract. GM Dean Lombardi said Richards acknowledged his performance this season wasn’t what was expected, admitting he had to improve his offseason conditioning.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Lombardi is loyal almost to a fault to his players, doing all he can to keep his roster intact.  While that’s certainly benefited the Kings so far, this could come back to haunt Lombardi if Richards fails to turn around his game. With $5.75 million per season for the next six seasons, Lombardi is taking what could be an expensive leap of faith in Richards. 

WASHINGTON POST: The Chicago Blackhawks will face the Washington Capitals in the 2015 Winter Classic. Location has yet to be determined.

NJ.COM: The Devils have re-signed Cam Janssen to a one-year, two-way contract worth $575K at the NHL level.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Find out what the 1999 Stanley Cup champion Dallas Stars are up to fifteen years later.