NEW YORK (AP) — The Rangers are buying out the contract of veteran forward Brad Richards, creating much-needed salary-cap space and parting ways with New York's de facto captain one week after being eliminated from the Stanley Cup finals.

Brad Richards #19 of the New York Rangers (Harry How/Getty Images)

Both the Rangers and Richards' agent, Pat Morris, confirmed the move Friday.

The 34-year-old Richards had six years remaining on the nine-year, $60 million deal he signed in 2011, and this move will remove his $6.67 million salary-cap charge. Richards will receive two-thirds of the remaining money to be paid out over 12 years — a total of $12.6 million.

Richards will also be paid $8 million in signing bonuses over the next three seasons. He didn't have to clear waivers before the buyout because his contract had a no-movement clause.

Richards, demoted to the fourth line in the finals against Los Angeles, will become an unrestricted free agent on July 1.

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