Today at 2pm it will officially be make or break time for teams.
At that time the trade deadline will come and the roster of all 30 teams will be locked for the remainder of the season. For the Dallas Stars this primary means, they either keep Brad Richards with the hopes of signing him or trade him off to get other pieces and try to make a run in the play-offs without the all-star playmaker on the roster.
I think GM Joe is in a hard place. Richards likely doesn’t want to sign a long-term contract until ownership is ironed out, but the Stars are far from a lock for even making the play-offs. It’s hard for any general manager in the league to look at the Stars situation and say, “resign and try again next year” considering the situation the team is in.
Right now, it would almost seem worth it to get a good play-off run out of Richards and risk letting him go for free just to get some play-off revenue and some steam for next season’s ticket sales. Ticket sales are something a lot of other columnists and hockey philosophers seem to forget. Not only is it big for the team’s needs but also to show the parties interested in purchasing the team how viable the Stars actually are coming off of 2 straight seasons without a post-season appearance, let alone a run.
I honestly believe that once in the play-offs the team could be the next Montreal and upset a lot of teams (so long as they don’t sqweek in and roll a first round with the Canucks, yikes).
Other rumors suggest that the team is still looking for depth forwards and defense to pick-up, which blows my mind; but that’s another entry all together.
So, for the next 5 and a half hours, we’ll all be refreshing our twitter and RSS feeds looking for headlines with “Dallas Stars” in it. I wish we could say it was nice to finally be in the NHL spotlight for once, but losing a player of Richards’ calibre isn’t good either way.
I don’t see Richards moving today, but I’ve been wrong in the past. We’ll see as we sweat it out together. Happy Deadline Day.
I’ll keep you posted!