Richards as a member of the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2009–10 season.
February 11, 1985 |
Kenora, ON, CAN
|Height||5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)|
|Weight||199 lb (90 kg; 14 st 3 lb)|
|Los Angeles Kings
|NHL Draft||24th overall, 2003
Michael Richards (born February 11, 1985) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre and an alternate captain for the Los Angeles Kings of the National Hockey League (NHL). He previously played for and was captain of the Philadelphia Flyers. Mike Richards won his first Stanley Cup on June 11, 2012 with the Los Angeles Kings.
Playing career 
Early years 
Richards grew up playing minor league hockey in his hometown of Kenora, Ontario. He played level A rep hockey for the Kenora Thistles until being drafted fourth overall in the 2001 OHL Priority Selection by the Kitchener Rangers. Richards was not a noted prospect prior to the selection. After receiving a tip from a friend in Kenora, Rangers general manager Jamie MacDonald traveled to see Richards play on two occasions.
Richards began his major junior career with the Kitchener Rangers of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) in 2001–02. He was a member of a dominant 2003 Kitchener team that captured the Memorial Cup and led the team in scoring during the regular season with 87 points. Following the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) championship victory, Richards was chosen as team captain. That summer, the Philadelphia Flyers selected him 24th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft with the second of the team's first round picks that season.
Upon being drafted, Richards returned to the Rangers for two more seasons. In his last season of junior, 2004–05, he embarked on another Memorial Cup run with Kitchener, but despite a remarkable 28-point performance from Richards in just 15 playoff games, the Rangers were eliminated by the London Knights in the OHL semi-finals. As soon as Kitchener was eliminated, the Flyers assigned Richards to the Philadelphia Phantoms, their American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, for their playoff run. Averaging over a point per game, he became a key part of the Phantoms' 2005 Calder Cup championship.
Philadelphia Flyers 
Richards made his NHL debut with the Flyers the following season and scored a goal in his first game on October 5, 2005, against the New York Rangers. Later in the season, he scored his first career NHL hat trick, which included two shorthanded goals, against the New York Islanders on February 8, 2006. His hat trick was the first by a Flyers rookie since Mikael Renberg on February 15, 1994. Richards finished his NHL rookie season with 34 points in 79 games, third among Flyers rookies to Jeff Carter (drafted the same year as Richards, 11th overall) and R.J. Umberger.
Following an injury shortened sophomore season – Richards was kept to 32 points in 59 games due to stomach surgery – Richards emerged as a star with the Flyers in 2007–08 and topped the team in scoring with 75 points. Recognizing his ascent as a leader on the team, Richards was named one of the Flyers' alternate captains at the outset of the season and was signed to a lengthy 12-year contract extension worth $69 million on December 13, 2007. Shortly after signing the deal, Richards was selected to represent the Eastern Conference at the 2008 NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta. In the first NHL All-Star Game of his career, Richards registered an assist.
As the Flyers entered the 2008 Stanley Cup Playoffs against the third-seeded Washington Capitals, Richards scored his first playoff goal on a penalty shot against Washington goaltender Cristobal Huet in game three. In doing so, he became just the second player in NHL history to score his first playoff goal on a penalty shot (the first was Wayne Connolly who did so with the Minnesota North Stars in 1968). The Flyers defeated the Capitals in seven games and then upset the Montreal Canadiens before falling to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the Eastern Conference Finals. Richards finished his 2008 playoff run with 14 points in 17 games.
Before the start of the 2008–09 season, on September 17, 2008, Richards was named the 17th captain in Flyers history, succeeding previous captain Jason Smith, who had signed with the Ottawa Senators in the off-season. On February 15, 2009, Richards became the first player in NHL history to score three career 3-on-5 shorthanded goals when he beat New York Rangers goalie Henrik Lundqvist in a 5–2 win. Six days later, on February 21, Richards became the first Flyer in team history to score a shorthanded goal in three consecutive games and the first NHL player to do so since Joe Sakic in 1998. He finished the season second in team scoring to Jeff Carter with 80 points to go with a league-leading 7 shorthanded goals.
Facing the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second consecutive year in the 2009 playoffs, Richards added 5 points in 6 games, but could not help the Flyers from being eliminated. After Richards' season ended, he was announced as a finalist for the Selke Trophy, along with Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings and Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks. The next day, on April 29, 2009, it was revealed that Richards required surgery on both shoulders. He had reportedly felt discomfort since training camp and was on anti-inflammatory medication throughout the season. Richards narrowly missed out on the Selke, which could have been Philadelphia's first individual player trophy since Eric Lindros won the Hart in 1995. Datsyuk won the vote 945-942 in the closest Selke Trophy race since its inception.
The 2009-10 season started successfully for Richards, scoring five goals in his first three games including his second career hat trick in the second period of the Flyers' home opener against the Washington Capitals on October 6, 2009. Against the Florida Panthers on October 24, Richards delivered a shoulder hit to David Booth's head. Knocked unconscious, Booth fell awkwardly on his head and neck and had to be carried of the ice on a stretcher. Richards was given a game misconduct, but was not suspended by the NHL.
From the outset of the season, Richards was involved in an ongoing feud with the Philadelphia media. He issued a verbal boycott against the media in October 2009 after he was asked if the trade of forward Joffrey Lupul to the Anaheim Ducks was the result of a partying lifestyle that many players on the team were accused of sharing. Accusations of team players drinking and partying excessively continued throughout the season, specifically with Richards and Carter. As the team began to lose, Richards criticized the local media in an interview with The Hockey News for "throwing the team under the bus." He also told the Philadelphia Daily News that the drinking accusations were fabricated. Following a loss to the Washington Capitals on January 17, 2010, Richards reportedly got into a verbal exchange with reporters outside the Flyers' locker room, telling them he was unhappy with how the team was being covered in the media. On February 1, 2010, Richards scored his 100th career NHL goal. The Flyers barely scraped into the playoffs, winning in a shootout in their last game of the season to secure their place. However, they then embarked on a remarkable run to the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, a run in which Richards cemented his captaincy and scored some important goals leading to renewed comparisons to Bobby Clarke, which eventually ended in the Stanley Cup Finals when the Flyers lost 4-3 in OT of game 6 to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Richards scored 23 goals to go along with 43 assists during the 2010-11 NHL season as the Flyers earned the 2nd seed in the Eastern Conference, and played the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the 2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs. After eliminating the Sabres in 7 games, Richards and the Flyers were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in a 4 game sweep. Richards recorded one goal and six assists during the playoffs.
Los Angeles Kings 
Richards and Flyers prospect Rob Bordson were traded to the Los Angeles Kings on June 23, 2011. In return, the Flyers received Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn, and Los Angeles' 2012 second round pick. Richards reacted to the major deal by saying, "“I was very shocked. At first I was shocked and then excited – I’m excited to move out to L.A. and be a part of a team that has a ton of great players. I’m just looking forward to helping them out.” A Dan Gross article suggested that Richards' "hard-partying ways" influenced the Flyers' decision to trade Richards. However, Flyers' General manager Paul Holmgren stated that it was "preposterous" that partying had anything to do with the trade. Jeff Carter was also traded, being sent to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Richards and Carter were reported traded due to their long contracts and to clear up cap space for Ilya Bryzgalov.
On October 15, 2011, Richards returned to Philadelphia and received a standing ovation from the crowd. He would assist on the winning goal, as the Kings won the game, 3-2.
Richards suffered a concussion and missed 8 games during the season. He was later reunited with Carter on February 23, 2012, upon Carter's trade to the Kings from the Blue Jackets.
On May 3, 2012, during Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals, Richards recorded his first career Gordie Howe hat trick when he got into a fight with Jamie Langenbrunner of the St. Louis Blues at 14:00 of the first period, scored a goal at 9:31 of the second, and recorded an assist at 11:48 of the third.
On June 11, 2012, Richards won the Stanley Cup with the Kings, recording four goals and eleven assists in 20 playoff games. Thus Richards became one of the few players to win a Memorial Cup, Calder Cup, Olympic Gold, a Stanley Cup, world juniors, Prince of Wales Trophy (Philadelphia Flyers) and Clarence S, Campbell Bowl (LA Kings)
International play 
|Competitor for Canada|
|Olympic Winter Games|
|World Junior Championships|
|Gold||2005 United States|
After Richards' rookie season with the Philadelphia Flyers, he was chosen to his first senior tournament with Team Canada at the 2006 World Championships. Richards scored 5 points in 9 games, but Canada was defeated by Finland in the bronze medal game, failing to medal.
On December 30, 2009, Richards was selected to play for Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Richards helped lead Team Canada to an 8–0 victory over Norway in the first game of the 2010 Olympic tournament by scoring one goal on February 17, 2010. He would go on to score a total of 2 goals and 3 assists in 7 games with a +5 rating. This includes an important assist on the first goal by the Canadians in the Gold Medal game where he forced a turnover, fired a shot and the rebound was put into the net by Jonathan Toews. The Canadians would win that game 3–2 in overtime giving Richards an Olympic gold medal.
Personal life 
Richards was born in Kenora, Ontario to Norm and Irene. He has two brothers, Mark and Matt. His cousin, Jeff Richards, is also an OHL graduate who plays in Germany. He recently appeared on Making the Cut, a Canadian reality show about aspiring hockey players.
Growing up, he attended Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora, until being drafted to the Kitchener Rangers at which point he attended Eastwood Collegiate Institute. He also played soccer in high school with Beaver Brae.
Richards also starred in an episode of NHL 36, which followed Richards for 36 hours.
- Memorial Cup championship (with the Kitchener Rangers) - 2003
- Memorial Cup All-Star Team - 2003
- OHL Second All-Star Team - 2005
- Stanley Cup championship (with the Los Angeles Kings) - 2011–12
- Calder Cup championship (with the Philadelphia Phantoms) - 2004–05
- Prince of Wales Trophy (with the Philadelphia Flyers) - 2010
- Clarence S, Campbell Bowl (with the Los Angeles Kings - 2012 Stanley Cup Finals)
- NHL All-Star Game - 2008
- Bobby Clarke Trophy (Philadelphia Flyers' MVP) - 2007–08, 2008–09
- Gene Hart Memorial Award (Philadelphia Flyers' fan favorite) - 2007–08
Only player to hoist a Memorial Cup (Kitchener Rangers) Calder Cup (Philadelphia Phantoms) and Stanley Cup (Los Angeles Kings) as a player.
Career statistics 
Regular season and playoffs 
|2011–12||Los Angeles Kings||NHL||74||18||26||44||71||20||4||11||15||17|
|Junior int'l totals||12||3||7||10||4|
|Senior int'l totals||16||5||5||10||10|
All-Star Games 
- Josh Brown (2009-12-19). "Northern star Mike Richards looks to light up Olympics". The Record. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
- "2002–03 Kitchener Rangers (OHL)". Retrieved 2008-09-17.
- Diamos, Jason (2005-10-06). "Jagr helps the Rangers start the season in style". New York Times. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- "Flyers edge Isles on Richards' hat trick". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2006-02-09. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- "2005-06 Philadelphia Flyers (NHL)". Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- "Flyers' Sanderson and Richards have surgery". Seattle Post-Intelligencer. 2006-12-12. Retrieved 2008-09-15.[dead link]
- "Jason Smith named Flyers captain". 2007-10-01.
- "Richards signs 12-year deal with the Flyers". TSN.
- "Richards and Timonen named NHL All-Stars". 2008-01-11.
- "Flyers outmuscle Capitals for game three win". CBC Sports. 2008-04-15. Retrieved 2008-09-15.
- "Philadelphia Flyers - Team: Mike Richards Official Player Page - Bio/News". Retrieved 2009-04-22.
- "Flyers named Richards captain". National Hockey League. 2008-09-18. Retrieved 2008-09-18.
- "Richards' historic shorthanded goal lifts Flyers". MSNBC. 2009-02-15. Retrieved 2009-02-15.
- "Red Wings' Datsyuk eyeing Selke award repeat". CBC. 2009-04-28. Retrieved 2009-05-06.
- "Briere score in OT, Richards posts hat trick in Flyers' 6-5 win over Capitals". The Hockey News. 2009-10-06. Retrieved 2009-10-10.
- Adam Kimelman (2009-10-25). "No suspension for Flyers' Richards". NHL.com.
- AP (2009-10-25). "Mike Richards Hit on David Booth: Panthers Left Wing Carted of on Stretcher". Huffington Post.
- "Flyers' GM Holmgren plays down Richards spat with local media". The Sports Network. 2010-01-18. Retrieved 2010-01-18.
- "Richards Scores 100th, 101st as Flyers ... [insert fire suffocation metaphor]". The700Level.com. 2010-02-02.
- "Mike Richards headed to the Kings". NHL. June 23, 2011. Retrieved June 23, 2011.
- "Flyers deal Richards to Kings for Simmonds and Schenn". The Sports Network. Retrieved 23 June 2011.
- "Trade Leaves Mike Richards in a State of Shock". The Sports Network. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- "Dan Gross: Partying prompted parting?". philly.com. July 25, 2011. Retrieved July 25, 2011.
- Kanalley, Craig (2009-12-30). "Canadian Olympic Hockey Team: 2010 Roster Released". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
- Zupke, Curtis (2010-02-16). "Getzlaf, Perry score in Canada's 8–0 victory". Orange County Register. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
- "Team Canada player statistics Vancouver 2010 Olympics". IOC. 2010-02-28. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- Jimmy Bramlett (2010-02-28). "US Loses Gold To Canada in Overtime". laist.com. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
- "Jeff Richards". Hockeydb.com. Retrieved 2010-12-07.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Mike Richards|
- Mike Richards's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Mike Richards at Hockey-Reference.com
- Mike Richards's biography at Legends of Hockey
- Mike Richards's player profile at NHL.com
- Mike Richards's player profile at TSN.ca
|Philadelphia Flyers' first round draft pick
|Philadelphia Flyers captain