Richards was issued a compliance buyout by the Rangers. He had six years and $27 million left on a nine-year, $60 million contract he signed July 2, 2011.
"In New York, the way it ended two years ago and the way it ended last year, the whole buyout thing took on a life of its own," Richards said prior to playing the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center on Tuesday. "I had to forget about that and realize that I've still got lots of hockey left. If my salary was different no one would be talking about any of it. It's just part of the business.
"I wouldn't change it. I miss New York. I loved playing there. I wish it never had to come to that, but as soon as the lockout was lifted my fate was pretty much sealed there. I guess you've gotta deal with it, but I still had lots of confidence I could play and hopefully there's lots of hockey left."