Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 02/17/11 at 03:18 PM ET
Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun of ESPN discuss what to do with Brad Richards,
Burnside: the Dallas Stars lost again Wednesday night (4-2 to Calgary) and lost ground to Los Angeles and Chicago, both of whom picked up victories. The Stars once looked invincible at the top of the Pacific Division, but they are now just a single point out of ninth place.
Frankly, I don’t like their chances, and I’m sure these are difficult days for GM Joe Nieuwendyk, who arguably has the most sought after trade-deadline asset in center Brad Richards. You and I talked yesterday about how the trade market hasn’t been set for a pure rental. Richards can become an unrestricted free agent on July 1 and teams like Boston, Los Angeles, the New York Rangers and perhaps Montreal would pay through the nose for a player with Richards’ pedigree.
LeBrun: The Stars’ collapse has put Richards right back in play, in my opinion. Richards is out right now (undisclosed injury), but Nieuwendyk told me Wednesday there was hope he might be ready to return next week. As to whether the GM would possibly trade Richards, who controls his fate with a no-movement clause, Nieuwendyk was obviously careful with what he told me.
“Brad and I are on the same page,” Nieuwendyk told ESPN.com. “Our intention all along has been to sign Brad, [but] we’re leaving all our options open.”
The Bruins have interest after losing Marc Savard for the season. I think the Kings do, as well. They had considered Richards a non-option for most of the season because of the Stars’ first-place standing, but now all bets are off. Los Angeles is intrigued by Edmonton winger Ales Hemsky, but Richards would have the bigger short-term impact. The Rangers would covet Richards July 1 via free agency, but I’m not convinced they would make a play now given the assets it would take to acquire him.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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