Are the Stars close to trading Brad Richards? Will the Senators’ Chris Phillips finally accept a trade? Read on for the latest.

NEW YORK POST: Larry Brooks reports the Dallas Stars asking price from the Rangers for Brad Richards is Mark Staal, Brandon Dubinsky and Derek Stepan. Richards’ agent Pat Morris said his client has not been asked to submit a list of preferred destinations. Brooks claims the Rangers are very interested in Richards but not as a rental player and would want permission to talk contract extension with him before making a trade. Rangers GM Glen Sather is also reportedly interested in Florida defenseman Bryan McCabe but he cannot afford to acquire McCabe and Richards.

DALLAS MORNING NEWS: Mike Heika reports Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk claimed Richards probably won’t return to the roster (he’s currently sidelined with concussion symptoms) before the trade deadline. Heika suspects it would take a huge offer for Richards to be dealt. Nieuwendyk also said he has the ability to add another player but it would have to be the right deal.

TORONTO SUN: Steve Simmons reported recently on the difference between Richards comments when he was last in Toronto where he told the local press he had interest in playing for the Maple Leafs if he becomes a free agent this summer and a recent report claiming Richards told a Tampa friend his first choice was to re-sign with Dallas or failing that his second choice would be returning to the Lightning, or sign with the Rangers or Hurricanes. Simmons suspects Richards’ private wishes for his future are more trustworthy than his public comments.

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS: Jesse Spector reports he’s learned the Stars intend to be buyers, not sellers, at the trade deadline, which would rule out their parting with Richards. Spector believed the Rangers, who are believed to have interest in Richards, won’t part with young players for a rental player, and if they do pursue a forward it would likely be one with an expiring contract.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: If Spector’s source is correct all this recent speculation of Richards getting dealt could prove baseless. I also don’t believe Richards wants to sign with a rebuilding team which hasn’t made the playoffs since 2004.  Nieuwendyk is obviously willing to listen to offers but it’s clear he’s not going to give Richards away, and while I acknowledge the possibility the center could be dealt I think it’ll have to take a significant offer to make it happen, as the Stars are obviously seeking help both for now and the future.

OTTAWA SUN/OTTAWA CITIZEN: report Senators defenseman Chris Phillips continues to weigh his options as the trade deadline approaches. His preference is to remain with the Senators beyond this season and there have been contract extension talks but so far they’re not at the point yet where they’ve discussed dollars.  It’s possible this could continue up to deadline day.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: I think the Senators management would like to keep Phillips but he’ll have to accept a lesser deal for the privilege. Looks like his name will remain in the mill until deadline day.