Brad Richards ready to move on from Stars

Brad Richards, certainly not surprisingly, is leaving the Dallas Stars.

That was made official Thursday when TSN's Bob McKenzie first reported that the Stars won't make an offer to the pending unrestricted free agent because of their continued ownership situation.

"I think it's just common knowledge that clearly we're not going to have an owner in place by July 1," Stars GM Joe Nieuwendyk told ESPN.com Thursday. "So, we know that Brad won't sign with us without a new owner. It's nothing we don't already know."

Richards told ESPN.com he was excited to have his first opportunity as an unrestricted free agent.

"Obviously, I have to move on," Richards said. "I had fun in Dallas, and I like the city. But the [ownership] situation is unclear, so I really didn't have a chance to stay there. I will move on and look forward to the opportunity to [be] a free agent. I've never had that chance in my career. It's a real big moment in my life to say the least."

Nieuwendyk revealed he tried to sign Richards a few months ago.

"We made Brad an offer prior to the trade deadline on a long-term deal, and it was turned down," Nieuwendyk said.

So what now? Nieuwendyk would not comment any further, but other NHL sources told ESPN.com Thursday that the Stars will try to move Richards' rights before July 1 to gain some value for Richards, and a few NHL teams have already inquired.

Thing is, Richards has a no-movement clause, so it's totally up to him whether or not he wants to have his rights traded.

"It would be great to try and help Dallas out if something was reasonable and made sense for both sides," Richards said. "But we'll see what happens. You never know what will happen. I think my mindset right now is to see how many options I have."