At some point this summer, something very predictable is going to happen. The New York Rangers are going to use one of their compliance buyouts on former Dallas Stars forward Brad Richards. When that happens, he’ll immediately become one of the more attractive free agent options out on the market.
The Stars are a team in need of a bit of an upgrade. They have a solid core group of forwards in place, with a pretty strong farm system. But in order to make it into the postseason next year, they’re going to need to spend a great deal of time this summer upgrading the current roster.
Does that mean a reunion could be in order between Richards and the Stars?
Brad Richards played some of the best hockey of his career with the Stars. Prior to last year, he had one of the most productive seasons of his career with Dallas, which was part of the reason that he was able to get such a hefty contract, leaving the Stars in the dust in order to sign in a much larger market in New York.
The dismissal of John Tortorella could change those plans up a bit, but with the amnesty available, teams are going to use them. After a very disappointing season, regardless of his relationship with Tortorella, Richards is almost a lock to hit the open market as a free agent.
He’d be an ideal pickup for the Stars. We already know there’s a past there, and things didn’t end on bad terms. Richards knew he could cash in and join a large market club, and he did just that. No one in Dallas actually faulted him for that, and it was something that was actually expected.
Richards would be a good fit with the Stars. He’d fit right into the middle of that top six. If he can return to form, he’s strong in the faceoff circle, a good playmaker, and someone good for at least 20 goals. If he does hit the market, expect the Stars to have interest and emerge as a contender to sign him.