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.