Brad Richards bigraphy, stories - Canadian ice hockey player

Brad Richards : biography

May 2, 1980 -

Bradley Glen Richards (born May 2, 1980) is a Canadian professional ice hockey centre and alternate captain for the New York Rangers of the National Hockey League (NHL).

He has also played for the Tampa Bay Lightning and Dallas Stars. He won the Stanley Cup in 2004 with the Lightning, where he was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player during the 2004 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Playing career

Tampa Bay Lightning

Richards was drafted in the 3rd round, 64th overall, by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, despite recording 82 assists and 115 points in his draft year. During that same draft, the Lightning selected Vincent Lecavalier, Richards' teammate at the both Athol Murray College of Notre Dame and Rimouski, with the first overall pick. Richards went on to win the Conn Smythe and the Lady Byng Trophies in 2004. He also won the Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004. Later that same year, he won the World Cup of Hockey Championship playing on Team Canada. Richards holds the record for game-winning goals in a single playoff season with seven in 2004, overtaking Joe Sakic's and Joe Nieuwendyk's record of six.

On September 26, 2004 the Rimouski Océanic of the QMJHL retired Richards jersey. Richards played for Rimouski Océanic from 1997-2000.

Richards played for Ak Bars Kazan in the Russian Super League during the 2004–05 NHL lockout on a team with fellow NHL'ers Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexei Kovalev, Vincent Lecavalier, Michael Nylander, Alexei Zhitnik, Dany Heatley, and Nikolai Khabibulin.

Richards played for Team Canada in the 2006 Olympics.

After the team was eliminated from the 2006 playoffs, the Lightning signed Richards to a five-year, US$39 million contract.

Dallas Stars

On February 26, 2008, roughly 3 hours before the NHL trade deadline, Richards was traded to the Dallas Stars in a blockbuster deal along with goaltender Johan Holmqvist for goalie Mike Smith, centre Jeff Halpern, winger Jussi Jokinen and a 2009 4th round draft pick. Richards had the Stars franchise record of most assists in a player's first game with five. The record is also a career high for Richards. The Stars defeated the Blackhawks 7–4, and Richards was named the number one star of the game.

In the 2008 Playoffs, Richards tied an NHL record by scoring four points in a single period in game 2 against the San Jose Sharks.

During the 2008–09 season, Richards tallied 16 goals and 48 points in 55 games before sustaining a broken right wrist following a check from Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jakub Voráček on February 16, 2009. Richards met with a specialist the following day and missed 15 games. Richards returned to the Dallas Stars lineup March 21, but the former playoff MVP then broke his other hand in the third period of Dallas' loss to San Jose Sharks. He would not return for the rest of the 2009 season, and the Stars missed the playoffs.

In the 2009–10 offseason, the team removed GMs Brett Hull and Les Jackson who had traded for Richards, and fired coach Dave Tippett who was replaced by Marc Crawford. Despite the new regime and the team's woeful finish in the standings for the second straight season, Richards enjoyed a career year matching a personal high with 91 points playing mainly alongside Loui Eriksson and roommate James Neal. Richards finished 7th in the NHL points standings that year, just behind former teammate Martin St. Louis. He also finished fourth in total assists, and second in powerplay production in the league. The Stars however would fail to reach the playoffs again. After the season, Richards was named a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy.

New York Rangers

After becoming an unrestricted free agent, Richards signed a nine-year, $58.5 million contract with the New York Rangers on July 2, reuniting him with his coach when winning the 2004 Stanley Cup with Tampa Bay, John Tortorella and another teammate from that 2004 team, Ruslan Fedotenko. He was also approached by the Calgary Flames, Los Angeles Kings, Toronto Maple Leafs and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

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Living octopus

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