Newsflash, Brad Richards will not be returning to the Dallas Stars. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, it's time for to look at guys that could replace Richards. The draft is always a nice place to find future centers, but the emphasis is on the future. With the 14th pick, Dallas won't be getting an amazing, NHL-ready center prospect unless someone seriously starts dropping in the draft. I took a look at potential draft targets for the Stars in an earlier post.
Unfortunately for the Stars, they don't have a good pick of center prospects in their minor league affiliates. There are plenty of talented wingers and defensemen that are ready to help the team at the NHL level, some of which was seen last year in Tomas Vincour and Philip Larsen, but centers are another story. As a result, the replacement for Brad Richards will most likely come from free agency (although it's a really weak class) so here's a quick look at some of the top centers in this year's free agent class.