There was an article yesterday in the New York Post where Larry Brooks basically tells the Dallas Stars what they should do with Brad Richards. Brooks has written about ways the New York Rangers could acquire since last October so take this with a grain of salt.
Brooks says that the Stars should trade the rights to negotiate with Richards to the Rangers for a second-round pick (number 57 in his mind) or else Dallas will get nothing when Richards leaves.
Looking into some of what Brooks says, it seems he's a bit delusional in how simple it would be for the Rangers to make the trade. Really, a second-round pick? Number 57 overall? Brooks says how the Philadelphia Flyers traded a first round pick for the rights to Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell in 2007. No offense to Mr. Timonen and Mr. Hartnell, but they don't have the talent that Richards has so why should Dallas settle for a second-round pick that is only five spots away from the start of the third round?
There are plenty of teams that want Richards so if Joe Nieuwendyk is going to make a trade, it will be after talking to each team in the league looking for someone to bite on a first-round price (I'm looking at you Brian Burke). Heck, the Rangers have their own first round pick, number 15, one spot after Dallas.
As it stands now, Dallas has seven total draft picks, one in each round. If Dallas re-signs Jamie Langenbrunner before the draft (please don't), they will give their own second round pick to the New Jersey Devils.
Also stated by Mr. Brooks:
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.
For Dallas, the circumstances were larger than just Brad Richards during the trade deadline. While the thoughts of re-signing Richards after the season was certainly in their thoughts, Dallas was in the midst of a very tight playoff race at the time. For an ownerless team that was strapped for cash, the playoffs were sorely needed to garther revenue for the team. Every extra home game, especially playoff games, would have been wonderful for the team.
To trade away the team's best player during that race would have been inexcusable for Nieuwendyk to do. Only a trade with astronomical returns, which Nieuwendyk was looking for, would have been accepted. The concussion that Brad Richards had at the time (which seems to be overblown outside of Dallas) also made it difficult to make a trade.
As for the owner situation, Tom Gagliardi is still in his 30-day exclusive negotiating period, which should be resolved within a week or two, with the Stars in the hopes of taking over the team.