Thursday, June 2, 2011
Stars, Richards parting ways
By Mark Stepneski
It appears Brad Richards' stay in Dallas will be coming to an end. The Stars will not make a contract offer to Richards prior to free agency and will look to trade his negotiating rights.
Richards has said that he would be hesitant to sign with the Stars until the team’s ownership situation was resolved, and at this point that issue will not be settled until after free agency opens on July 1.
“There’s really not any point because we know that he is not going to sign without an owner,” said Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk, who added that the team has made an effort to keep Richards.
"We made a very serious attempt to get Brad signed prior to the trade deadline," said Nieuwendyk. "We made a long-term contract proposal and it was rejected."
The Stars will now look to trade Richards’ rights before free agency.
“We’ll need Brad’s permission to do that,” said Nieuwendyk, referring to Richards’ no-trade clause.
Losing Richards will leave a big gap in the Stars forward group. He led the team in scoring this past season and is one of the league’s top playmakers.
“It’s too early to tell [how we’ll replace his offense]. Obviously he’s a high point guy,” said Nieuwendyk. “We’ll have to see what our team looks like once we put some pieces into it.”
Options for filling the gap could come through free agency or trades. Nieuwendyk still doesn’t have a budget for next season, but interim president Tony Tavares said a budget is expected to be in place later this month.