The latest on Brad Richards, Hal Gill, Mark Stuart and more.

OTTAWA SUN: Bruce Garrioch reports Dallas Stars forward Brad Richards could be the biggest name in this summer’s UFA market. Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk is working on re-signing Richards but given his current cap hit ($7.8 million per season) that could be tough given the club is currently run by lenders…The Montreal Canadiens haven’t opened contract talks with pending UFA blueliner Hal Gill but won’t trade him as he’s been a mentor to P.K. Subban plus they cannot afford to trade away a defenseman with Andrei Markov and Josh Gorges out for the season….The Canadiens, Bruins and Sharks could have interest in Ottawa defenseman Chris Phillips.

MONTREAL GAZETTE: Pat Hickey reported Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier has around $3.5 million in cap due to the season-ending injuries of Markov and Gorges and if he holds true to form could make a deal sooner rather than later. Hickey writes the big question is whether the Habs need a scoring forward (they’ve been linked to New Jersey’s Jason Arnott and Florida’s Stephen Weiss) or a defenseman like Calgary’s Robyn Regehr.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Arnott is past his prime and injury-prone, Weiss is skilled but also small and the Habs have plenty of those type of forwards, while Regehr is considered part of the Flames core and GM Jay Feaster claimed several weeks ago he wouldn’t trade any of his core players.

CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty reports there’s been strong interest on the trade front in Boston Bruins rugged defenseman Mark Stuart. Moving him could be an option for the Bruins if the team needs to clear cap space for a roster move.