Maybe Richards will sign as a free agent with the Lightning?

June 21st, 2014 at 6:20 pm by Bill

The Rangers bought out Brad Richards yesterday, which in practice means the Rangers lost two captains in one season. If lightning strikes (ha!), he could be joining another Rangers captain in Tampa Bay; Ryan Callahan. It remains to be seen if Callahan re-signs with the Lightning. I hope he does, solely so the Rangers can recoup a 2015 second round pick. But even if he doesn’t, Richards may be a fit there. His agent told the Tampa Bay Times that Richards “certainly remains positive to interest from Tampa”.

I speculated on twitter with @RangerSmurf that Tampa may sign him as a free agent. The Lightning have been connected to the Jason Spezza trade talks, even though they really already have a second line center in Valtteri Filppula. Richards is a third line center at this stage in his career and could slot into that spot easily for the Lightning, without the cost of a trade. The signing would also make sense from a marketing perspective, Richards is still a fan favorite. When free agent signings make hockey and business sense, they usually happen. Wouldn’t surprise me at all to see Richards in Tampa next season.

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