Updates on Brad Richards and Anthony Stewart, and more talk on which players the Blackhawks should trade.
ESPN.COM: Mark Stepneski reported Dallas Stars center and pending UFA Brad Richards continues to watch and wait for resolution of the club’s ownership situation. He said there’s no deadline regarding his contract talks with the club as July 1st is still two months away. He intends on relaxing and to heal up from this past season, think things over and “give it a chance over there in Dallas to see what happens with ownership”. The club is currently in talks with businessman Dan Gaglardi, whose bid to purchase the franchise and half-ownership of their arena is estimated at $250 million. Stepneski reports of the possibility the club could have a new owners by early June, which could give the club time to negotiate a new contract with Richards.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Having a new owner in place by early June doesn’t mean Richards won’t become an unrestricted free agent, but it does improve the Stars chances of re-signing him. It’s believed Richards would like to stay in Dallas, but he also needs assurance a new owner is intent on building and maintaining a Cup contender.
AJC.COM: Chris Vivlamore recently interviewed Atlanta Thrashers forward Anthony Stewart and asked about his contract status. A restricted free agent this summer, Stewart admitted contract talks hadn’t begun, but added he was confident things would be sorted out this summer.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Stewart could receive an offer sheet but it’s more likely he’ll be re-signed at some point this summer by the Thrashers. He was on a two-way contract paying him over $632K at the NHL level, and he netted 39 points in 80 games this season. He’ll likely earn a one-way, two-three year deal, perahps worth up to $1.2 million per season.
CHICAGO DAILY HERALD: Tim Sassone recently reported folks musing about potential trade candidates for the Blackhawks should be realistic and instead suggesting Patrick Kane should consider Niklas Hjalmarsson, Troy Brouwer, Viktor Stalberg, Jake Dowell and Chris Campoli.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Bear in mind, Sassone isn’t saying those players will be traded, but rather they’re more realistic trade candidates than Kane. It’s possible the Blackhawks could retain most, if not all, of those players.