Latest on Brad Richards – April 15, 2011.

Find out why Dallas Stars pending free agent center Brad Richards appears hesitant to discuss re-signing with the club.

ESPN.COM: Mark Stepneski recently reported Dallas Stars center Brad Richards will patiently mull over his options as a potential unrestricted free agent, which he’ll become on July 1st. Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk insists he still wants to re-sign Richards but the latter is hesitant give the team’s ownership situation has yet to be resolved.  Richards says he has plenty of time yet to reach a decision.

NBCSPORTS.COM: Joe Yerdon however suggested Richards comments could be considered “ominious words” for Stars fans worried about the team losing him for nothing to free agency in July.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports the reason for Richards hesitation is based on his previous experiences with Tampa Bay, where ownership uncertainty post-lockout saw the Lightning unable to maintain a Cup contending roster, culminating in his being asked to waive his “no-trade” clause in 2008. Heika believes Richards, who’ll turn 31 on May 2nd, will probably seek a deal for five years or more, and while he’ll probably accept a pay cut from his $7.8 million per season he earned on his current contract, there’s little chance they could get him for five years at $6 million per, but perhaps seven years at that salary.

STAR-TELEGRAM.COM: Jennifer Floyd Engel however earlier this week suggested it might be better off for the Stars if they let Richards walk, as the team didn’t win with him in the lineup.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Richards would probably love to stick with the Stars if they had stable new ownership in place, or about to be in place, by July 1st. Having gone through this once before with the Lightning, Richards wants to be certain he won’t be repeating those problems again. While still at the top of his game, he won’t have many more productive years remaining, and he wants to spend them with a contending team, not one which will be stuck in financial limbo, unable to build or maintain a contender.

22 Comments

  1. No way Richards will stay in Dallas…..
    The rangers will have to move either gaborik or drury(or both) to get richards and be able to keep all their young talent, as signing guys like staal callahan and stepan is far more important than banking on one year….
    And while all this is going on, the leafs finally have a competitive team, full of young, talented guys, a solid goalie, and all sorts of money to play with…….
    kessel-richards-lupul
    kuly-grabo-mac
    kadri-bozak-frattin
    colby-colbourne-brent
    One guy can’t win a cup, but this one guy can put us over the top.
    go leafs go

  2. NY could afford Richards. Prospal (2.5mil) and frolov (3mil) are coming off the books, and buying out the last year of drury’s contract would save them another 3.3mil. That’s almost 9mil in extra salary.
    I mean, as a leaf fan I would love to have him to center kessel and lupul, that would be a SICK line. But I have a feeling NY will get him over us.

  3. NYR can easily afford Richards. Not only do they have Prospal and Frolov coming off the books but they are likely to buyout both Drury and Wolski. Anybody thinking the Rangers can’t afford to sign Richards is either fooling themselves, or one of those Leaf fans that make other Leaf fans look bad.

  4. I also wouldn’t discount the Islanders offering up a huge contract, they tried it with Kovalchuk last year. Say 12 years@90-100mil. I wouldn’t be suprised, but it would floor me if he accepted.

  5. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Buffalo take a run at him. Connolly is most likely gone, Neidermyer and Grier too. There is new, stable and exciting ownership in Buffalo so that wouldn’t be an issue. Richards centering Vanek would be a helluva lot of fun to watch!

  6. @Durt…. That’s a lot of money. I have to be honest, if he’s offered that money by the NYI, not only would it no surprise me if he accepted, but I wouldn’t blame him either. There is going to a poor market for a slight overpayment, but 12 years, $100 M, that is such a gross overpayment that you almost owe it to your family to take that contract and not worry about cups, just play out the contract. We know he wants another ring, but he has one already and that much money is too much to pass on.

    At least in Toronto you can believe (despite results) that they’re trying to get competitive. The NYI are a wasteland.

  7. Random aside, Spector, (or Lyle);

    Can we get rid of the ads that play sound. It makes it nearly impossible to read this at work and frankly gets pretty annoying. I can list about 20 other sites I no longer go to because of these annoying advertisements. I like this site a lot and figured I’d ask if you guys could develop a new ad revenue strategy or something. This is beyond annoying.

  8. Yeah, I can definitely see Richards going to NYR – a big hockey market, but not the pressure cooker that Toronto is. I then see Dallas signing Tim Connolly or something as a replacement. Not 1/4 the player Richards is, but I don’t think they’ll be able to sign anyone of anywhere near Richards’ value, and that will be the best centre they can get.

  9. MattyG, ya I may have over exagerated those numbers. Say 80-90 mil? (6.66-7.5 cap hit)
    keep in mind the isle will have to overpay for players.

  10. @MattyG turn down your speakers or head phones bud.

    As for Richards who knows what this guy is going to do but i have a feeling he is going to play it up being the only big name game changing center that is UFA. I honestly wouldnt be surprised if he signed in Toronto Burke is one hell of a sales guy he could sell a ketchup Popsicle to a women in white gloves.

  11. Frankly I don’t think Richards is looking to lead a rebuild with a bunch of youngsters, so we can probably count out both Toronto and NYI, despite a possible over-paying contract (the guy already has millions, remember?)
    I’ll be floored if NYR don’t land him on the premise that they will make a push for the cup in the next 2-3 years.
    Buffalo would be an interesting move as well, but if I were a betting man, my money would be on NYR

  12. Buffalo has a lot of money committed to forwards (middling ones at that) and likely will spend that money on their back-end this off season with the glut of quality d-men available. If they can unload somebody like Pomminville (unlikely) I could see them maybe looking at Richards but otherwise their cap distribution doesn’t make sense.

    @ Dino – “turn down your speakers or head phones bud.”

    I’m not sure exactly what you’re getting at, as I am correct in my point that the Rangers can easily afford Richards if they want to go that route. I understand you’re a Leaf fan and as such, I feel for you. Doesn’t change facts.

    Could Richards sign in TO? Sure. Is it likely? Not really. Despite what some Leaf fans want people to think, not every player in the world is clamoring to come play for the Blue and White. Fact is, most actually don’t want to play in TO because of the media, turncoat and angry fan base and the general fishbowl atmosphere.

    Why would he want to be in New York rather than TO? Well, to quote Steve Martin on 30 Rock – “Toronto is like New York without all the stuff.”

  13. @Durt… 12 years at $7.5 M, I’d still have to sign with the NYI. It’s just too much money that no other (responsible) franchise can, or will offer. Sometimes you have to take your competitive athlete side out of it and take one for your family. Let your family enjoy the hell out of living in NY, while you earn enough money to retire your great, great, great grandchildren.

  14. Don’t jump to conclusions about the Rangers being able to sign Richards. Although Prospal and Frovlov come off the books and even if they buy Drury out several of their core are due rasises as RFA.Callahan, Dubinsky , Artemisov, Boyle and Sauer

  15. @Dino…

    my apologies. Didn’t know your comment was about the noise ads. Misunderstanding.

  16. I understand that as of right now the Leafs don’t look like they are in a position to contend but who knows what they might look like after the draft, I am a Flames fan so my opinion isn’t affected but to me if i was a hockey player there wouldn’t be a better city to win the cup in then Toronto so with that alone plus the promise from management that they are going to be competitive in the coming years its almost worth it for Richards to take the chance on Toronto.

    They have the cap space and the wingers to make a great first line and as much as it sucks to lose in that city i am pretty sure nothing beats winning there.

    @MattyG no problem.

  17. I agree with most of everybodys comments about where Richards could go, but being a kings fan I have to point out how tempting an LA offer could be to Brad. LA has a solid core that has already gone through most of a rebuild process and with 2 or 3 guys making 3+ mil coming off the books at the end of the playoffs makes salary not much of an issue. Since LA was making good offers to Ilya, I think they could do the same for Brad. They will over pay for him a little but still have room to resign key guys to be cup contenders for some time to come. With Kopitar and Schenn more than likely making the team next season I can see the Kings being in Brads top three choices. With all the good players the kings have, Richards will have a good line whoever he’s teamed with. LA could have a little bit of everything for him, money, cup contender, a solid core team, easy media, great weather and a very loyal fan base that would welcome him with open arms.

  18. So, if the Sabres let Connolly walk at $4.5m, they might sign Richards at $6m for many many years? Laugh if you like, but with new ownership, and if the Sabres go deep in the playoffs, they’d certainly look the part of a contender. You might see interest on both sides now that Darcy has a free hand.

    Connolly for Richards is not a bad trade for $1.5-2.5m extra.

  19. If I’m Buffalo, depending on how deep this team can go into the playoffs will be a testament to Ryan Miller as much as the ability for the forwards to give him a lead to work with. They should be basing the whole style of play around Miller with a key D upgrade in the off season helping that. But upfront I worry that their key guys are either too soft, too small or too brittle, basically like a less skilled Montreal. Richards makes an interesting fit with guys like Boyes and Vanek who are established snipers. But it would have to take some major decisions in Buffalo to let a couple of their long-term guys either walk in July or make a few moves.
    Griswel has an interesting idea where letting Connolly walk for Richards would eat some cap room but provide a significant upgrade.

    One downside would be taxes as I know income taxes in Texas are much more favorable than in NY and given his contract he stands to keep a lot more of his money in Texas. When we’re talking an $8 mill a year deal and your keeping and extra 500k for example (not 100% sure on the numbers) only by living in Texas, then suddenly staying put makes sense with both Dallas and Buffalo being teams in similar positions (Not top contenders but able to do some damage). The main attractive thing is the new exciting ownership in Buffalo who wants to win and will be aggressive whereas in Dallas, they’re not sure who the owner will be even.

  20. Thanks to Joe for the validation. As for making leafs fans look bad, it’s a blog!!
    No need for displeasantries….
    But I digress……
    Richards on buffalo would be very scary for the rest of the division

  21. When did NYR become a top contender? If they never had the King in goal they wouldn’t ever be in the playoffs and the first 2 games would’ve be alot of worst for Trots and the crew.

    I think L.A will land him.
    NYR will push hard for him.
    Burke will kick tires and make a 5 yr /7 mil deal offer.
    NYI have Johnny T as their number center but we know how they throw money for no reason. Fire snow?

    I’m a Hawks fan but If I was team looking for a number 1 center (T.O) I would do almost anything to get Kelser from Vancouver he’s the complete package.

  22. I don’t understand the LA talk. Next year they will have kopitar schenn penner and simmonds as there centers. Why would they alot another 7mil or so twards another center? Let the young guys blossom.

    Dino, don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t mean to pick on your comment. But I love how non leaf fans have to absolutely clarify that they are not Leaf fans when making a comment about the team. As if there comment would be completely disregarded as stupid if they where a fan. Like, I would do such and such a trade, but I’m not a leaf fan so it’s actually possible lol! Youre not the only one Dino. Every page about the leafs contains such content. I find it funny.