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Posted By Travis Currie On Jun 2 2011 @ 9:33 pm In Dallas Stars | 2 Comments

Joe Nieuwendyk has made it public that the Dallas Stars will not be offering a new contract to soon-to-be UFA Brad Richards. Richards has said all along that he would like to remain in Dallas if the ownership issue was resolved. It’s now clear that that is unlikely to happen before the July 1 free agency frenzie.

Negotiations have been going on with Vancouver business man Tom Gagliardi, but nothing serious enough to give anyone hope that it will be resolved in time. In the event that something does transpire unexpectedly in the next few weeks, then things could change. But that appears to be unlikely. Thus the announcement.

Richards says he’s looking forward to getting his first chance at unrestricted free agency and there’s likely to be at least a few teams looking to acquire his services. The Stars are also looking at trading his rights before free agency hits.

Nieuwendyk will likely face some backlash and outrage at losing Richards for either nothing or next to it from the Stars fan base. As the season went on, the worst case scenario was seeing the Stars keep Richards at the trade deadline rather than getting a package in return, missing the playoffs, and then not re-signing him and losing him for nothing. That has now all but officially come to fruition. As they say though, hindsight is 20/20.

At the time, the Stars were right in the playoff hunt and having Richards aboard gave them the best chance. Factor in that Richards was still suffering from a concussion, the offers being thrown Nieuwendyk’s way were clearly not what he had in mind if he was to part with his star center. Had Richards been healthy at the time, the offers would have been much greater and the trigger on a trade very likely could have been pulled. So to crucify GM Joe I would say is a little harsh. And let’s face it, he’s had his hands tied as far as the budget, so doing his job has been difficult so far.

If there’s a silver lining in this, it’s that it will free up a chunk of money. Which will count for something. Hopefully soon.

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