That's because he told the Tampa Tribune as much.
"I don't know what they're thinking as an organization," Richards said. "If they're going to talk to me, I'd definitely be interested.
"I can't speak for them and what they want to do in the offseason. There are rumors, but what do they really mean? At the end of the day, it's what they say if you get the chance to sit down with them."
Of course, Richards played his first 6 1/2 seasons in the NHL with the Lightning, winning a Stanley Cup with the team in 2004. Richards took home the Conn Smythe Trophy for his work in the postseason that year. He was traded just before the deadline in the 2007-08 season to Dallas.
"I certainly wasn't looking to leave at that time -- and I don't think it ever had to happen the way it did -- but I enjoyed Dallas," Richards said.
Richards just played out the final year of his contract that he signed with the Bolts in 2006 and Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk said last week they wouldn't re-sign him and were interested in trading his negotiating rights.
It's interesting to note that Richards, who still trains in the Tampa Bay area, was back in town and attended a playoff game at St. Pete Times Forum. He hasn't quite distanced himself from the Lightning yet. Just check out this line:
"If you get the right owner, a general manager like Steve Yzerman, people who know how to do things, it's great. I think we just needed the right kind of owner to come in here. Um, maybe I shouldn't say 'we,' right?"
There will surely be other suitors begging for a chance to sign Richards. But if they can make the numbers work in Tampa, it seems like Richards has a favorite in mind.
-- Brian Stubits