There had been speculation the club would use its second and final compliance buyout to terminate the final seven seasons of Richards' contract, which runs through the 2019-20 season with a salary-cap charge of just over $6.67 million per season.
Richards had 34 points in 46 regular-season games but struggled in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, scoring one goal in 10 games and finding himself a healthy scratch for the final two games of the conference semifinals against the Boston Bruins.
The Rangers used their first compliance buyout on defenseman Wade Redden prior to the 2012-13 season.
I don't know how he does it. I don't know how he gets his body parallel with the player and pulls it through his legs like that. I know he's tried it a couple times in practice and it's never worked, so how he does it in a game, it's incredible.
— Capitals defenseman Mike Green on teammate Alex Ovechkin's highlight-reel goal against the Devils on Saturday