NO PARTING GIFTS
There is no questioning Brad Richards' charitable side.
He put money back in the community in both Tampa Bay and Dallas, and he dropped off a half million dollar check at the local hospital during the Stars training camp in PEI last fall.
But when he and his handlers had a chance to wrap a bow around one more item before hitting the free agent market on July 1st, they balked.
It's about the little clerical item known as a " no trade clause", and the irony of this one is that it was once waived in order to make Richards a Dallas Star.
If that no trade were waived it would clear the path for Joe Nieuwendyk to make a deal with an interested pursuer of Richards and at least get a token in return for Brad Richards impending departure. The Flyers and Coyotes did this with Ilya Bryzgalov: Coyotes received a minor league winger (Matt Clackson), a third round pick in next years draft, and a conditional pick (dependent on Philly getting the goalie signed) while the Flyers got to court and kick the tires on Bryzgalov leading to yesterday's 9-year, $51 Million deal for the big Russian.
Maybe it's just business for Richards and his agent Pat Morris. Or, maybe there's bad blood.
Maybe he doesn't want the potential bad pub and pressure of having to ultimately tell the team that trades for him, no thanks.
Or maybe, just maybe, he simply doesn't want to sign with the team or teams who have expressed interest in trading for him.
What I do know is that in less than a week the Stars won't have Brad Richards, and they won't have a damn thing to show for their leading scorer and their 3-plus year commitment to him.
What they will have is cap space, lots and lots of glorious cap space.
And, as the Stars scouts and management assemble in St. Paul today for the NHL Entry Draft they'll continue the chosen path of "draft and develop" which is a good reminder that charity starts at home.
Posted on June 24, 2011 09:52 AM Email Razor
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