Don’t believe everything you hear and read. This is something any sports fan should always know, especially with rumors on player trades and movement. Brad Richards is still a member of the Dallas Stars, at least for a couple more weeks. By this point we all know that Richards sadly will not be staying in Dallas long-term. Ownership and budget issues have the Stars and GM Joe Nieuwendyk in a bad situation still and while it is not pleasant to see happen, Richards is not to blame here.
So of course as soon as the word started to get out last week that Richards and the Stars will definitely be going their own ways in a couple of weeks, the rumors about trading his rights began running rampant. Rumor has it that the Toronto Maple Leafs have been in talks with the Stars, but then that was disputed right away. The Leafs have been interested in Brad a lot over the last year and look to be one of the teams interested in him when he hits free agency. There was also a couple of twitter sources that I normally trust come out and said that the New York Rangers had made an offer to the Stars, but that Richards would not waive his NTC (no-trade clause). There could be quite a few teams interested in him come July 1st, but right now it looks like the Stars are not going to be able to move him before then.
While Richards has sent mixed signals about if he would ever waive his NTC for the right team, the Stars are still going to try and get something done. But it is looking more and more like he will not waive it even for a team he is interested in, and will just wait for July so that he can walk into free agency. I completely understand his decision, but from the Stars perspective you wish he would at least let them move him at the draft. Maybe the Stars get something from a team, the other team gets about a week to talk to him exclusively, and Richards can still hit free agency if he doesn’t like what the other team is offering. But alas it appears now Richards really will leave, and the Stars will be left with nothing except for a big hole to fill.