Sports

Richards' time with Rangers could be cut way short as potential contract buyout looms

FILE - In this March 10, 2013, file photo, New York Rangers center Brad Richards looks on during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals in Washington. The struggling center says he will be a healthy scratch Thursday night as New York faces elimination in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals of the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs against the Boston Bruins. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)

FILE - In this March 10, 2013, file photo, New York Rangers center Brad Richards looks on during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Washington Capitals in Washington. The struggling center says he will be a healthy scratch Thursday night as New York faces elimination in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals of the NHL's Stanley Cup playoffs against the Boston Bruins. (AP Photo/Nick Wass, File)  (The Associated Press)

Brad Richards would like to continue his career with the New York Rangers.

That decision was his two summers ago, but now it is out of his hands.

The former star center joined his Rangers teammates on Monday in cleaning out their lockers following a disappointing five-game loss to the Boston Bruins in the Eastern Conference semifinals. The defeat struck Richards even harder because he was a healthy scratch for the final two games.

His production simply wasn't good enough to stay in the lineup. That is a far cry from July 2011 when the 33-year-old Richards signed a nine-year, $60-million deal to join the Rangers as a prized free agent.