Richards, the Rangers' potential biggest trade target before tomorrow's 3 p.m. trade deadline, reportedly skated today in Dallas, the fourth straight day he's done so in his recovery from a concussion.
But he won't have played a game before the deadline, obviously.
As far as the Rangers are concerned, sources close to the team said tonight that there is some feeling the Rangers would want Richards not just for a stretch run this season, but to have the exclusive negotiating window before July 1 to try and sign him to a long-term contract.
Reports around the league have indicated that the bidding for Richards on July 1 could get crazy, seeing as how he's the top center available. But it doesn't appear as though the Rangers, who almost always get their man on day one of free agency, will go nuts for Richards should he reach the open market.
They will, as has been reported here and elsewhere, not be going nuts tomorrow for Richards either. From people I've talked to, the Rangers' first-round pick would be in play in a possible deal, but it's doubtful any of the core players currently on the NHL roster would be seriously discussed.
All that said, the Stars, who have won two straight to get them back into the Western Conference top eight, may keep Richards for their own stretch run. Richards' agent, Pat Morris, said in an email tonight that Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk has still not asked Richards to waive his no-trade clause.
So, to recap: The Stars may not even want to move Richards; Richards has to approve any trade; he hasn't played in two weeks; and the Rangers won't part with any key, young player on their roster, or a handful of A-level prospects (Chris Kreider, Ryan Bourque, Tomas Kundratek).
There may yet be a deal for Glen Sather to make by the 3 p.m. deadline for an upgrade at forward that makes more sense than Richards as well.
We'll see what tomorrow brings.