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02-26-2011, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Boy Wonder View Post
HHH list picks Brad Richards. PM'ing next.
Thanks Jarek.

The Maroons are glad to add a guy like Richards who is highly skilled and can anchor a line as the primary playmaker (five times top-6 in assists), but is also a well-rounded, dynamic player who can blend in on any team. His clutch scoring in the 2004 playoffs earned him a Conn Smythe Trophy.

Brad Richards, C, 6'0, 195 lbs

- Stanley Cup (2004)
- Conn Smythe Trophy (2004)
- Top-10 Points x3 (7th, 8th*, 9th)
- Top-10 Assists x5 (4th, 4th, 5th, 6th, 6th*)
*active year (variable)
- 8th in Short-Handed Goals in 2006
- 7 Playoff Game-Winning Goals (an NHL single post-season record)
- Tampa bay was 9-0 in the playoffs when he scored
- 9th highest scorer of the 2000s

St. Petersburg Times, May 29, 2004:

"Over time there are certain players that score timely goals and very important goals, and he's done a great job doing that for the Lightning," Flames defenseman XXXXX said. "You can't put all of it on luck. You have to be in the right place at the right time. You have to have the skill and a lot of patience to capitalize on those chances."

And a willingness to get your nose dirty.

Richards, 24, did not have a physical element to his game when he came into the league in 2000-01. Coach John Tortorella tried to change that. Adversity helped get the message through.

Richards did not have a goal in last season's 11 playoff games and went through an awful scoring slump in December. So Richards began paying more attention to his forecheck and determination along the boards. He also positioned himself closer to the net; areas in which physical play increases.

"He told me to play more physical," Richards said of Tortorella, "not because you're going to throw people into the third row, but it's a mind-set of going out there and thinking you can do it and maybe taking a little bit of a beating on your body sometimes. It's something that gets you the puck more and things happen."

At 6 feet 1, 194 pounds, Richards can handle it. But there was another change, too.

"I just want the puck more," he said. "Being willing to take more of the abuse is a big part of it sometimes. Last year I don't think I did that."

"He has been a very consistent player right on through," Tortorella said. "That's a reason why we have the opportunity to be playing these games now this time of year. For us to continue to play a few more games, he needs to continue."

"He's just going to continue to get better," Lightning captain XXXXX said. "He's a guy who can lead teams."

And win games.
Legends of Hockey:

Coming off a stellar junior career, Richards jumped straight to Tampa Bay in 2000-01, setting Lightning team rookie records in goals (21), assists (41) and points (62) and was named to the NHL's All-Rookie Team. He went on to play for Team Canada at the 2001 World Championships, collecting 6 points in 7 games. Richards equalled his rookie point total in 2001-02 and increased them to 74 in 2002-03. In 2003-04, Richards continued his strong play at both ends of the ice, finishing the regular season with 79 points (26-53-79) while leading the Tampa Bay Lightning to a seven game series win over the Calgary Flames in the Stanley Cup final.

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