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The Brad Richards dilemma

Dallas Stars center Brad Richards shoots the puck

Dallas Stars center Brad Richards shoots the puck against the Flyers. (Feb. 5, 2011) Photo Credit: Getty Images

Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk was on the NHL Live radio show today and said he's willing to part with Brad Richards, but it would need to be a blow-away type of deal. I'm not sure how Nieuwendyk will accomplish that since Richards is out with a concussion and isn't likely to return before the trade deadline comes on Monday at 3 p.m.

That means any team looking to trade for Richards won't get a chance to see if the Stars' star is fully recovered before sending what would likely need to be a first-round pick and a prospect to Dallas for the chance to rent Richards for two-plus months.

Which means, in the words of one league source, "You could make the deal and he might not play a game for you."

Richards is a top Rangers target. He's certainly more attractive to them on July 1, when all the Rangers would need is money and salary cap room (no easy feat, with Wade Redden and Chris Drury on the cap for the summer) to get one of John Tortorella's favorite players.

According to sources, the Rangers -- like the Predators, who surrendered a first-rounder for Mike Fisher, and the Flyers, who gave up their first for Kris Versteeg -- may be willing to part with their first-round pick in a June draft that is deep among the top 10 or so, but drops off considerably after that.

But a first-rounder for a star with a concussion? The Rangers already have one of those in Marian Gaborik, with whom Richards would ideally be paired anyway. The uncertain status of both players means the Rangers seem unlikely at this point to make a big play for Richards before Monday.

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