It’s believed the NY Rangers will pursue Dallas Stars center Brad Richards if he hits the UFA market, but will he even be available?
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Jesse Spector recently reported no one in the Rangers post-playoff interviews with the press mentioned Dallas Stars center and pending UFA Brad Richards by name, the need to address head coach John Tortorella’s claim his club needs to add more skill couldn’t have been clearer. Tortorella said such a move didn’t have to come via trade, but suggested free agency “if the right piece is there”. Adding a playmaker like Richards could also benefit winger Marian Gaborik, who said it would be great to have someone he could click with. Spector however suggested GM Glen Sather would have to do some fancy salary cap footwork given the RFAs like Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan he has to re-sign, suggesting it could lead to a buyout of Chris Drury.
NORTHJERSEY.COM: Andrew Gross reported Chris Drury roles with the Rangers seems less assured, as he could be bought out of the final season of his expensive contract (with its no-movement clause) if he no longer fits into the club’s future plans.
THE GLOBE & MAIL: David Shoalts recently reported efforts by Vancouver businessman Tom Gaglardi to purchase the Dallas Stars are gaining steam, as he’s expected to soon enter into an exclusive negotiating period of 30 days to complete the purchase of the team and a fifty percent share of its arena. Shoalts suggested if the sale to Gaglardi goes through it’s possible that move could take Brad Richards off the UFA market, as he’s stated his preference would be to remain in Dallas if the Stars had stable ownership.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Drury most likely will be bought out, provided he doesn’t undergo further knee surgery prior to the June buyout period. If the Stars are sold to Gaglardi before the end of May that’ll give Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk a better opportunity to re-sign Richards. If that happens, the Rangers will have to seek help via the trade market as there isn’t much talented depth at center beyond Richards.