All season long it has been reported that the biggest hesitation on Brad Richards part to committing long term to the Dallas Stars has been their uncertainty in ownership. Today that came to the forefront as according to TSN, the Dallas Stars are not going to offer Brad Richards another contract proposal before the July 1 free agency period begins. Bob McKenzie said that the Stars will explore dealing the rights to Richards before the deadline, but that would have to be approved by Richards as he would have to waive his no-movement clause in order to be traded.
Pierre Lebrun of ESPN delves further into the reasoning behind the decision of the Stars to not tender another offer to Richards before the deadline.
"I think it's just common knowledge that clearly we're not going to have an owner in place by July 1," Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk told ESPN.com Thursday. "So, we know that Brad won't sign with us without a new owner. It's nothing we don't already know."
"We made Brad an offer prior to the trade deadline on a long-term deal, and it was turned down," Nieuwendyk said.
This news is bound to restart the discussion about trading for the rights to Richards this month, but with the recent trade for Tim Erixon taking away both 2011 second round picks, that might take the Rangers out of being a serious contender to go that route. With Dallas out, the Rangers best course of action might just be to wait until July 1 and sign him that way. There will undoubtedly be more of a frenzy going that route as opposed to dealing for his rights, but if Richards truly wants to be here for the next stage of his career then it will happen as he ultimately holds the cards both before and after the July 1 free agency period begins. If this is the desired destination for Richards there is no reason for the Rangers to sacrifice assets to trade for his rights in advance.