There's an inflammatory headline for you, but that's what Larry Brooks of the New York Post opined in a recent column arguing that the New York Rangers should be working to attain the rights to Brad Richards in exchange for a marginal pick in this year's NHL entry draft.
From a New York Ranger perspective (or Maple Leaf, or whoever else thinks they might have a shot) we can see how that might make some sense given Richards' concussion this spring and the flinging of what we like to call "stupid money" that will ensue on July 1st, but unsurprisingly the notion that the Stars don't even have a shot doesn't strike the same chord.
From the New York Post:
Dallas, still ownerless, meanwhile, has no shot even if the Stars wish to continue to delude themselves the way they deluded themselves at the trade deadline. At some point though, it's up to GM Joe Nieuwendyk to accept reality and see what he might be able to get for Richards' rights before No. 91 walks out the door for nothing in return.[NYP]
That delusion, as Mr. Brooks puts it, could be a very real thing today on May 23rd but to say that was the case in late February borders on ignorance and thoughtlessness. A good chance to make the playoffs (in a market where making the playoffs is the only way to stay relevant) and the long term consideration of having at least a chance at extending him (the only big name center of the free agent class) before July 1st was more than enough justification for keeping him then. He had to keep both of those doors open for the franchise, the fans, and the guys in the locker room, unless something outrageously promising was coming back the other way from New York. There was no such deal available.
As for the reality of the situation on Monday, May 23rd...That could be different. It all depends on what the Stars know internally about the sale of the team and what words have been privately exchanged between Brad, his agent, and the front office. Only Joe Nieuwendyk and his staff have all of that information. Judging it as 'delusion' without those facts at this stage in the game is a little flippant in this bloggers opinion, even if Mr. Brooks proves right in the end.
Stars fans don't need these sorts of haughty dismissals from the hockey media at large to know that the odds are greatly stacked against Dallas in the Brad Richards sweepstakes, but that's just what we're in for as the playoffs draw to a close soon and free agency nears.
Theoretically the 30 day exclusivity period granted to Mr. Gaglardi should be coming to an end sometime this week and then we might** get a bit of news to help inform this discussion and the pace of the sale a little. If the news is of the unsavory variety the question of a second or third round pick for Richards' rights until July 1st might become a more germane topic of conversation.
Knowing what we know about the sale of the team and their ability to bid on his services (virtually nothing at this point), would you trade his rights for a pick now?