Brad Richards and free agency
Will anything happen with Brad Richards before July 1?
It seems highly unlikely. Dallas Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk said last week he was not going to make Richards another contract offer, after trying — and failing — to sign the 31-year-old to an extension before the trade deadline. The Stars would love to make a trade before Richards becomes an unrestricted free agent on July 1, but he has a no-trade clause in his contract, and would have to give the team permission to make a move. With teams all across the league looking for a premier centre, and with the potential of surprise bidders emerging on July 1, it seems unlikely that permission would be granted.
So what does Richards do between now and free agency?
If he has not already, Richards will have to establish a wish list. Does he have a list of the five teams that interest him most? There are a host of factors that will go into making his decision, factors that might include whether he enjoys a city, and how he views the lineup and its championship aspirations. His agent, Pat Morris, will provide background on how players in similar situations have fared in the past. Of course, he could also just decide to wait by the phone on July 1, field the calls and make a decision over the weekend.