Last night The Toronto Sun published a report online detailing the supposed feelings of Brad Richards regarding his future in the NHL and where he might be willing to go. Steve Simmons of the Sun had this to say...
The free agent to-be has told an old Tampa source that he has no real interest in playing in Toronto, if he, in fact, becomes a free agent come July. Richards’ first choice is to remain in Dallas, assuming the team gets sold and can afford to sign him. His second and third choice, not necessarily in order, would be returning to Tampa (which doesn’t seem possible economically) or playing for his old coach, John Tortorella, with the New York Rangers. He has also hinted about having some interest regarding playing in Carolina.
When asked about Toronto, he apparently said nothing but shook his head.
This is interesting for several reasons. Number one, it is a welcome diversion and perhaps a little ray of sunshine in the face of the current horrific fall from grace the team is currently experiencing on the ice. Secondly it means all those Leaf fans lusting after him shouldn't feel so good about their chances any more, if they believe any of this.
There's the question. Do we believe any of this? This is what many close to the team have been saying for months so it has the ring of authenticity to it, and it substantiates our feeling that he does want to stay here if and only if the team gets sold.
On one hand the report, in mentioning Dallas, Tampa and Carolina, seems to suggest that he has a desire to stay away from high profile hockey markets. On the other hand the fact that he would consider playing in NYC flies in the face of that. Maybe he dislikes Toronto for another reason?
For now we'll continue hoping for the best as far as the sale of the team is concerned. All potential buyers will be well aware of this situation and it will be very high on their 'to do' list when ownership is transferred.
As long as reports continue to resemble this one and not "Richards wants out of Dallas and wants to hit the market for sure, etc..." then fans will be content knowing that the Stars are probably going to get a shot at him first. This week has been an excellent reminder of just how badly the Stars need him to stay.