Countdown to July 1: Flames interested in Ryan Smyth; Richards will go to market

June, 23, 2011
6/23/11
1:55
PM ET

Ryan Smyth wearing a Calgary Flames uniform?

Two sources told ESPN.com on Thursday the Flames have entered the picture in the Smyth trade talks, joining the provincial rival Edmonton Oilers as potential destinations for the veteran winger.

Smyth, 35, has one year left on his deal, which pays him $4.5 million, although the cap hit is $6.25 million. He also has a no-movement clause, which helps him control his trade destination.

Perhaps getting impatient with the Oilers, one source said it's the Kings that approached the Flames, and Calgary indicated it might have interest depending on other factors.

But for the cap-challenged Flames to even get serious on this front, they'd need to move money first. We're told one player being shopped is veteran defenseman Robyn Regehr, who has been asked by Calgary to consider a trade to Buffalo. The 31-year-old has two more years left on his deal at a $4 million cap hit. More importantly, he has a no-movement clause, which means he isn't going anywhere unless he approves the destination.

Richards to hit market

Dallas Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk was informed by veteran agent Pat Morris that star center and pending unrestricted free agent Brad Richards would not waive his no-movement clause and was going to hit the market July 1.

It was hardly a shock, but it was still very disappointing for Nieuwendyk to finally hear it when he met with Morris on Thursday.

"That's their right, but it's frustrating from our end. But what can you do, right?," Nieuwendyk told ESPN.com, the disappointment in his voice clear as day. "We'll just turn the page, but it's real disappointing."

From the player's perspective, it's hard to blame Richards. He could have as many as 10 teams make offers. Why settle for one team now? On the flip side, Nieuwendyk made the gutsy decision not to trade him in March and now he's going to see that asset walk away without compensation.

It's a tough business.

Latest on Markov

The Twitter world brought us Russian reports Thursday saying Andrei Markov had re-signed with the Montreal Canadiens.

"It's not done. We're still working on it," Markov's veteran agent, Don Meehan, told ESPN.com on Thursday afternoon.

Meehan added that he was slated to meet with Habs GM Pierre Gauthier either late Thursday or Friday. Sounds as if this is a deal that should get done.

Speaking of Meehan, he's a busy man. The head of Newport Sports said he also had meetings planned Friday with Lightning GM Steve Yzerman regarding Steven Stamkos and another meeting with Kings GM Dean Lombardi regarding Drew Doughty. Both young stars are restricted free agents July 1.

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