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Brad Richards’ agent says he’d consider a return to Tampa Bay

Jun 20, 2014, 11:40 PM EDT

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers Getty Images

Brad Richards might feel like he’s floundering without a home after being bought out by the New York Rangers on Friday. Perhaps he’d find comfort in returning to a familiar place, though?

His agent told the Tampa Bay Times’ Joe Smith that that Richards would “certainly respond positively to interest from Tampa.” Smith follows that revelation with a worthy point: it’s unclear if the 34-year-old would fit in well with the Lightning.

That being said, Rangers GM Glen Sather raved about Richards’ work with the team’s younger players, so maybe the experienced forward would impact the likes of Ondrej Palat, Jonathan Drouin, Tyler Johnson and even Steven Stamkos in a positive way?

Perhaps the Lightning would ponder such a thought if Richards is willing to take a one or two-year deal, particularly if they cannot retain Ryan Callahan. The hypothetical situations only get more fun (if far-fetched) when you consider that his former Lightning teammate Dan Boyle is also looking for a deal. Maybe we’d see those two reunited after all these years? (Both were priced out of Tampa Bay during/after the 2007-08 season.)

Lightning GM Steve Yzerman might not want to go in that direction with such a talented young core of players, although the two veterans could conceivably be useful at the right price and (most importantly) the right term.

If nothing else, it’s an entertaining thought.

  1. bluesrawesome - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:03 AM

    Imo as much as I hate to say it Chicago and him would make an awesome fit. He could be tht 2nd line center they always needed and with them he gets a solid shot at winning the cup. A 2 yr contract would be perfect. And in Chicago he wont be relied upon as much for offense.

  2. rushledger - Jun 21, 2014 at 2:53 AM

    He could the 2nd like center Chicago needed 8 years ago. He’ll find a new spot but unless it’s to a non playoff team it shouldn’t be in an overly prominent role.

  3. 19to77 - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:11 AM

    No place for him in Tampa with Stamkos, Filpulla, Johnson and Killorn all capable centres. No need to revisit old formulas when the youth movement is bright.

  4. phillyphanatic77 - Jun 21, 2014 at 4:49 AM

    Yeah I’m sure Richards would love a return, but Yzerman is smarter than that. The Lightning forward group is stacked and overflowing with young guys who deserve time… there’s no need for an aging, overpriced has been. Sure he’d be nice in the leadership dept, but you could say that about plenty of cheap veterans with more ability to play on the bottom-6. Richards doesn’t exactly play with grit or flash two-way ability.

  5. jb8588 - Jun 21, 2014 at 7:37 AM

    As cool as it would be to have Brad back in a Bolts uniform, it doesn’t make a ton of sense like others have stated. Already have Stammer & Fil as the top two centers along with Killorn, Palat, Johnson. Drouin, Kucherov & possibly Connolly who are up and coming quick.

  6. gbart22 - Jun 21, 2014 at 8:27 AM

    Chicago is where he fits the best

  7. flyboystransport - Jun 21, 2014 at 8:28 AM

    Want lecavlier too????? :b

  8. lordfletcher - Jun 21, 2014 at 9:36 AM

    I think Richards should consider a job any where that one may pop up.

    If any GM is crazy enough to offer him more than a 2 year deal, good luck. He bounced back last year in points but still looked terrible playing as a two way forward and made major mistakes constantly.

    I don’t see any cup contending team pursuing him hard in the coming days – weeks.

    I could be wrong, usually am… but I would stay away unless you are a team that needs to take a gamble. Ottawa, NYI, Washington, Nashville, Toronto, Phoenix ???? no clue, throwing darts

  9. ColonelFancy - Jun 21, 2014 at 9:56 AM

    St. Louis could use the depth at center if the Jason Spezza sweepstakes fall through the cracks.

    • bluesrawesome - Jun 21, 2014 at 10:42 AM

      Only if we dont get stastny,spezza,or kesler. Basically he should be our last resort. Even if hes slowing down hes still better than roy was for us last year.

  10. earpaniac - Jun 21, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    As long as its not more than a 2yr deal, we in Chicago would gladly take him.

    • lordfletcher - Jun 21, 2014 at 12:49 PM

      this Wild fan is hoping you sign a declining Center that plays horrible two way hockey.

      Sign him now

  11. billiam55 - Jun 21, 2014 at 11:07 AM

    tampa is a fast team. richards doesnt fit their system. hes slow.

  12. pone27 - Jun 21, 2014 at 11:09 AM

    I think Chicago would rather gamble with moving other players before trying to sign Richards. And by that time, more than likely Richards will have a new home.

    I personally would love to see Richards as the Hawks 2C. Him with Kane or Hossa could be pretty scary.

    But, I still think Chicago would rather trade because they need to shed cap in some way to make room for the re-signings approaching them. Richards will just add cap.

  13. adamal17 - Jun 21, 2014 at 1:32 PM

    A two year deal would be good for ANY team that’s interested in Richards. IMHO any team would be improved with having Richards for that period of time…but that won’t happen. Two years is great for a team at a 3-4 million cap hit is not even a gamble; but Richards agent isn’t going to let that happen. He will be the Vinny Lecavlier of this off season and get a deal of four of five years at around 4.75-5.5 million…and most likely have a team kicking themselves a year down the road. I do agree with the comments on here though that Chicago would be a good home for him if they can get him for a couple years. I’d love to see him on the Wings…if we didn’t have Weiss (didn’t see the year he had last year coming at all).

  14. tommydugan39 - Jun 21, 2014 at 3:06 PM

    Is this the same agent that said he would still be with the rangers next season. Sorry no team will pick this guy up he is out of gas at 34. Unless he goes under a reborn element he can play goofy on Disney on ice…… Good luck brad you pretty boy….

  15. rsl22 - Jun 21, 2014 at 5:05 PM

    If any team signs him as a cheap, “I want to win a cup and will do what you need” guy, then it’s a great pick up. He could be an excellent Jagr, Iginla, Fedorov (when he signed with Caps) style presence if he takes his role to heart.

    If he gets big money and term to be a 1C and PP guy, it’ll cost that GM a job.

  16. ljacks11 - Jun 22, 2014 at 12:43 AM

    He has the hands, he has the ability, he just ain’t got the speed and unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few years speed is the name of the game

  17. lsxphotog - Jun 22, 2014 at 3:38 PM

    Tampa? Wishful thinking for sure, but the team has a different personality than before and he wouldn’t fit into the current one. Tampa needs grit, experience, and two solid veteran defenders. You’ll only get experience with Richards, and that cap hit comes at the expense of filling the holes they knew they need. If Tampa doesn’t sign Callahan, they’ll probably go after someone like Carcillo or maybe even a reunion with Downie – Yzerman knows they need a player more like that to round out their forwards.

    I can see Ottawa, NYI, or Nashville being real moves for him.

    Ottawa needs just more of everything up front, so he could be placed into their system and work better than what they have out of the box.

    Not that I believe any player will sign in Long Island, for some reason, he could still stay in New York and play with an exciting player like Taveres on the power play – certainly helping his point production and give someone to feed John.

    Nashville is a black hole if you’re looking for excitement. I love that team, but I don’t think their brand of hockey is all that fun to watch…that has a lot to do with no star forwards AT ALL in their system. They have a new coach next year with Laviolette and, with it, new potential. Time to listen to the coach and get some tools he can work with. If Laviolette says he wants a good play maker – try to find one. If it’s Brad, offer him 3 years max and give the club some breathing room to build on or go somewhere else if he’s a bust.

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