According to TSN.ca, the Dallas Stars, amid ownership issues, are opting to not re-sign Brad Richards to a new contract. With ownership likely not to be settled until later this summer, the Stars are not in a good position to offer a big bag of cash to Richards.
While ownership does have its issues right now, the Stars are still a team in flux, still searching for a replacement for fired head coach Marc Crawford. Among the candidates include Kirk Muller, and Texas Stars head coach Glen Gulutzan.
Richards, who has long been tied to the Toronto Maple Leafs all the way to before the trade deadline last year, will likely see the rumors of his arrival in Toronto escalate now in the next month.
Last season Richards scored 28 times and got 77 points in 71 games. Very good numbers for the 31-year-old in a season where he lost linemate James Neal to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Other than the Leafs, expect the New York Rangers and Los Angeles Kings to be hot on his trail. The Montreal Canadiens could also be in the mix, as well as possibly the Winnipeg franchise looking to make a huge splash for this coming season. Other teams that could offer him big money could include Nashville, Carolina and St. Louis.
Richards, who will turn 32 next year, has likely hit his prime and could be heading for the downward descend of his career. He will likely command at least $7 million on the open market and personally, I think it's not worth it for the long-term health of the organization.
Other than the fact he's a legit point per game player, Richards does come with some cons to his game. He's never been the best defensive center and has rarely finished with a plus or minus above one. He's also fairly inconsistent when it comes to showing up in the big games.
He would improve the teams power play and will finally give Phil Kessel a setup man to feed him juicy passes in the slot, but the fact remains: Is spending that much on a long term deal worth it for the Leafs?
Let me know what you think by commenting on the article.
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