The inevitable has occurred: Brad Richards has left the Dallas Stars. Richards, who was the source of trade rumors throughout the 2010-11 NHL season, signed with the New York Rangers on the second day of free agency in the NHL.
The Stars opted against trading Richards as they attempted to make the playoffs in the Western Conference, but ultimately fell short. With uncertainty pertaining to the ownership situation with the Dallas Stars, it was unlikely that the Stars were going to be able to re-sign Richards after the season came to an end.
Richards' contract is reportedly worth nine years and 58.5 million dollars. Richards' salary will have a six and a half million dollar cap hit annually for the Rangers.
It's unfortunate that the Stars are left empty handed for Richards, but it could have been worse. At least the Rangers are in the Eastern Conference and the Stars (for now) are in the Western Conference. The Los Angeles Kings had been rumored to be right there with the Rangers for Richards' services - and that would have stung Stars fans even further to see Richards skating for a divisional rival in the 2011-12 season.