The Rangers have long been expected to make Brad Richards their top priority when NHL free agency begins on July 1, hoping to reunite the All-Star center with coach John Tortorella after the pair won a Stanley Cup together with the Lightning in 2004.

And, to nobody's surprise, Stars general manager Joe Nieuwendyk confirmed a report Thursday that the team would not offer Richards a contract because of the organization's unsettled ownership situation.

"There's really not any point because we know that he is not going to sign without an owner," Nieuwendyk told ESPNDallas, adding the Stars would now try to deal Richards' rights but would need him to waive his no-trade clause.

Richards, who turned 31 on May 2 and will be an unrestricted free agent after completing a five-year, $39 million contract he initially signed with the Lightning, had 28 goals and 49 assists in 72 games for the Stars but did miss time due to a concussion.