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Dreger: Stars may decide to hold on to Brad Richards

Darren Dreger

2/27/2011 4:46:06 PM

Bryan McCabe brings experience, leadership and a booming shot on the power-play to the Rangers, all assets that New York considered when they identified McCabe as a trade target weeks ago.

Before completing the deal, Florida wanted to test his market value before hammering down on the specifics of the trade with the Rangers.  The Panthers also needed the go ahead from McCabe to get it done.

The veteran defenseman is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in July, however, New York isn't ruling out the possibility of re-signing McCabe if he fits in as planned.

The rumor mill continues to link Brad Richards to the Rangers, although more and more, it appears Dallas Stars general manager, Joe Nieuwendyk may hold onto his leading scorer in an effort to lock down a playoff spot in the incredibly volatile Western Conference.

Some around the league believe the teams most interested in Richards could be involved in heavy discussions right up to Monday's trade deadline.

The Ottawa Senators negotiation with Chris Phillips isn't progressing. The Senators are reluctant to close the gap that currently exists between the two sides, although Phillips remains hopeful, based on his history in Ottawa, that further compromise leading to a contract extension can still be worked out.

No pre-deadline timeline has been placed on this negotiation; however, it's hard to imagine that Senators general manager Bryan Murray will allow the process to linger past Sunday.

Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Edmonton sit quiet as the weekend unfolds, perhaps, it's the calm before the storm, especially in Edmonton where the Oilers are expected to be among the most active on Monday.