When Ed Belfour entered free agency in 1997, he did so with a few scars.Not only had his contract negotiations with the Chicago Blackhawks gone poorly, but other contract negotiations for Chicago teammates were going poorly, as well. A Blackhawks teams that had made it to the Western Conference finals in 1995 was all of the sudden falling apart. Bernie Nicholls was let go and Joe Murphy quickly followed. Then, the big names started falling. Jeremy Roenick was traded to Phoenix, Belfour to San Jose, and eventually, Chris Chelios was dealt to the hated Red Wings.If you ever wanted to get Belfour really worked up, you could start a conversation about how good that Chicago team would have been had they just kept it together.I tell you that story, because it's the same thing that happened to Brad Richards.He and good buddies Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis helped the Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup in 2004. The Lightning had a core of great, young players and should have been a Stanley Cup contender for the next six to seven years or longer. But ownership struggled with the financial end of the deal, and the team fell apart. Goaile Nikolai Khabibulin was lost in the first summer to free agency. Then came the trades and the extended ownership issues. Eventually, the Lightning moved most of the team, including playoff MVP Richards and top-level defenseman Dan Boyle.``Within three years, there were maybe three guys left from a Cup winning team,'' Richards said. ``That's not how you want to build.''This story is important, because there's a very good chance that Richard will do exactly what Belfour did back in 1997. After being traded to San Jose, Belfour decided he wanted to play for a winner. So he scouted the best teams in need of a goalie, and he told his agent to get on the phone. Belfour's first choice was Dallas, his second was Philadelphia. The Stars were interested, and quickly signed Belfour to a three-year, $10 million contract _ a pretty reasonable deal at the time. A young and building Sharks team offered $10.5 million, but it was clear that Belfour was seeking something besides the most money.And the guess is that Richards will do the same thing this summer. The Stars' leading scorer for the past two seasons, Richards made it clear that he definitely will consider the Stars when he looks at teams this summer. He said he would love to stay if the ownership issue is cleared up, and that he might even consider sticking around if it isn't. But, you understand why it means so much to him."You look around the league at teams that are consistently winning, and it starts at the top. It's always that way,'' Richards said. ``It makes things clearer for a guy like Joe and what he's doing. How many times have we talked about ownership this year? There are a lot teams where you don't have to talk about it, you never talk about it. You just go play hockey, and things are always taken care of.''When asked if his past experiences with Tam