Mike Richards

Last updated
Mike Richards
Mike Richards 2016-04-07 1.JPG
Richards with the Capitals in 2016
Born (1985-02-11) February 11, 1985 (age 34)
Kenora, Ontario, Canada
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 196 lb (89 kg; 14 st 0 lb)
Position Centre
Shot Left
National teamFlag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
NHL Draft 24th overall, 2003
Philadelphia Flyers
Playing career 20052016

Michael Richards (born February 11, 1985) is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player. Richards played 11 National Hockey League (NHL) seasons, spending time with the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings and Washington Capitals, winning two Stanley Cups with the Kings. Richards was drafted in the first round of the 2003 NHL Entry Draft by the Flyers, 24th overall.

Canadians citizens of Canada

Canadians are people identified with the country of Canada. This connection may be residential, legal, historical or cultural. For most Canadians, several of these connections exist and are collectively the source of their being Canadian.

Ice hockey team sport played on ice using sticks, skates, and a puck

Ice hockey is a contact team sport played on ice, usually in a rink, in which two teams of skaters use their sticks to shoot a vulcanized rubber puck into their opponent's net to score points. The sport is known to be fast-paced and physical, with teams usually consisting of six players each: one goaltender, and five players who skate up and down the ice trying to take the puck and score a goal against the opposing team.

National Hockey League North American professional ice hockey league

The National Hockey League is a professional ice hockey league in North America, currently comprising 31 teams: 24 in the United States and 7 in Canada. The NHL is considered to be the premier professional ice hockey league in the world, and one of the major professional sports leagues in the United States and Canada. The Stanley Cup, the oldest professional sports trophy in North America, is awarded annually to the league playoff champion at the end of each season.


On June 29, 2015, the Kings announced that they had terminated Richards for being in violation of his contract, "for a material breach of the requirements" of his Standard Player's Contract. The National Hockey League Players' Association filed a grievance on August 10 disputing the termination which was settled on October 9, 2015 thereby making Richards an unrestricted free agent. [1]

National Hockey League Players Association players union

NHLPA is the labour union for the group of professional hockey players who are under Standard Player Contracts to the 31 member clubs in the National Hockey League (NHL) located in the United States and Canada. The Association represents its membership in all matters dealing with their working conditions and contractual rights as well as serving as their exclusive collective bargaining agent.

Richards was a member of two Stanley Cup-winning teams with Los Angeles, in 2012 and 2014, also being a part of numerous championship teams at various levels, including the Stanley Cup (Los Angeles Kings - NHL), Memorial Cup (Kitchener RangersOHL), World Juniors (Canada – IIHF), Calder Cup (Philadelphia Phantoms – AHL) and Olympic Gold (Canada).

Stanley Cup championship trophy awarded annually in the National Hockey League

The Stanley Cup is the championship trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner. It is the oldest existing trophy to be awarded to a professional sports franchise, and the International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) considers it to be one of the "most important championships available to the sport". The trophy was commissioned in 1892 as the Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup and is named after Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada who donated it as an award to Canada's top-ranking amateur ice hockey club. The entire Stanley family supported the sport, the sons and daughters all playing and promoting the game. The first Cup was awarded in 1893 to Montreal Hockey Club, and winners from 1893 to 1914 were determined by challenge games and league play. Professional teams first became eligible to challenge for the Stanley Cup in 1906. In 1915, professional ice hockey organizations National Hockey Association (NHA) and the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) reached a gentlemen's agreement in which their respective champions would face each other annually for the Stanley Cup. It was established as the de facto championship trophy of the NHL in 1926 and then the de jure NHL championship prize in 1947.

2012 Stanley Cup Finals 2012 ice hockey championship series

The 2012 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 2011–12 season, and the culmination of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs. The Western Conference playoff champion Los Angeles Kings defeated the Eastern Conference playoff champion New Jersey Devils four games to two, capturing the first Stanley Cup title in the team's 45-year history, dealing the Devils just their second Stanley Cup Finals defeat in five tries and first since 2001. Kings goaltender Jonathan Quick was awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player of the playoffs.

2014 Stanley Cup Finals championship series of the National Hockey League

The 2014 Stanley Cup Finals was the championship series of the National Hockey League's (NHL) 2013–14 season, and the culmination of the 2014 Stanley Cup playoffs. The League realigned its divisions prior to the season, and changed the structure of the playoffs, but the championship series remained the same. The Western Conference champion Los Angeles Kings defeated the Eastern Conference champion New York Rangers four games to one to win their second championship in franchise history, marking the first time since 2007 that the championship series was determined in fewer than six games. Their Stanley Cup–winning run of 26 playoff games was latter tied by the 2019 St. Louis Blues for the longest of any Stanley Cup–winning team in history.

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. [2] After receiving a tip from a friend in Kenora, Rangers general manager Jamie MacDonald traveled to see Richards play on two occasions. [2]

Kenora City in Ontario, Canada

Kenora, originally named Rat Portage, is a small city situated on the Lake of the Woods in Northwestern Ontario, Canada, close to the Manitoba boundary, and about 200 km (124 mi) east of Winnipeg. It is the seat of Kenora District.

Ontario Province of Canada

Ontario is one of the 13 provinces and territories of Canada and is in east-central Canada. It is Canada's most populous province accounting for 38.3 percent of the country's population, and is the second-largest province in total area. Ontario is fourth-largest jurisdiction in total area when the territories of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut are included. It is home to the nation's capital city, Ottawa, and the nation's most populous city, Toronto, which is also Ontario's provincial capital.

Ontario Hockey League sports league

The Ontario Hockey League (OHL) is one of the three major junior ice hockey leagues which constitute the Canadian Hockey League. The league is for players aged 16–21. There are currently 20 teams in the OHL; seventeen in Ontario, two in Michigan, and one in Pennsylvania.

Richards began his major junior career with the Rangers 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. [3] Following the Canadian Hockey League (CHL) championship victory, Richards was chosen as team captain. [2] That summer, the Philadelphia Flyers selected him 24th overall in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft with the second of the team's two first round picks that season.

The 2001–02 OHL season was the 22nd season of the Ontario Hockey League. Twenty teams each played 68 games. The Erie Otters defeated the Barrie Colts for the J. Ross Robertson Cup.

2003 Memorial Cup

The 2003 Memorial Cup occurred May 17–25 at the Colisée Pepsi in Quebec City, Quebec. It was the 85th annual Memorial Cup competition and determined the major junior ice hockey champion of the Canadian Hockey League (CHL). It featured the host team, the Quebec Remparts, as well as the winners of the Ontario Hockey League, Quebec Major Junior Hockey League and the Western Hockey League, which were the Kitchener Rangers, Hull Olympiques and the Kelowna Rockets respectively. The Kitchener Rangers won their second ever Memorial Cup, their first being in 1982. They beat the Hull Olympiques in the final, who were trying to win their first Memorial Cup since 1997 when they won it on home ice.

Canadian Hockey League umbrella organisation for major junior hockey in Canada

The Canadian Hockey League is an umbrella organization that represents the three Canada-based major junior ice hockey leagues. The CHL was founded in 1975 as the Canadian Major Junior Hockey League, and is composed of its three member leagues, the Western Hockey League, Ontario Hockey League, and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League. For the 2018-19 season, its three leagues and 60 teams represent nine Canadian provinces as well as four American states.

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.

The 2004–05 OHL season was the 25th season of the Ontario Hockey League. The OHL inaugurated two awards for scholastic achievement, the Roger Neilson Memorial Award and the Ivan Tennant Memorial Award. Twenty teams each played 68 games. The London Knights set a Canadian Hockey League record, being undefeated in 31 games. The J. Ross Robertson Cup was won by the London Knights, defeating the Ottawa 67's.

London Knights Canadian junior ice hockey team

The London Knights are a junior ice hockey team from London, Ontario, Canada, playing in the Ontario Hockey League, one of the leagues of the Canadian Hockey League. The Knights started out in 1965 as the London Nationals but changed to their current name in 1968.

Philadelphia Phantoms American hockey team

The Philadelphia Phantoms were a professional ice hockey team that played in the American Hockey League (AHL) from 1996 to 2009. The club was based in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and played most of its home games at the Spectrum. During schedule conflicts or some Calder Cup playoff games, games were moved to the adjacent Wachovia Center. The Phantoms won two Calder Cup titles during their tenure in Philadelphia.

Philadelphia Flyers

Richards with the Flyers October 2010. Mike Richards 2010-10-30.jpg
Richards with the Flyers October 2010.

Richards made his NHL debut with the Flyers the following season, 2005–06, and scored a goal in his first game on October 5, 2005, against the New York Rangers. [4] Later in the season, he scored his first career NHL hat-trick, which included two short-handed goals, against the New York Islanders on February 8, 2006. [5] His hat-trick was the first by a Flyer rookie since Mikael Renberg on February 15, 1994.[ citation needed ] Richards finished his NHL rookie season with 34 points in 79 games, third among Flyers rookies, behind Jeff Carter (drafted the same year as Richards, 11th overall) and R. J. Umberger, respectively. [6]

Following an injury-shortened sophomore season – Richards was kept to 32 points in 59 games due to stomach surgery [7] – 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 [8] and was signed to a lengthy 12-year contract extension worth $69 million on December 13, 2007. [9] Shortly after signing the deal, Richards was selected to represent the Eastern Conference at the 2008 NHL All-Star Game in Atlanta. [10] 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 3. [11] 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). [12] 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.

Richards captained the Flyers for three seasons. Mike Richards 2010-03-27.JPG
Richards captained the Flyers for three seasons.

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. [13] On February 15, 2009, Richards became the first player in NHL history to score three career three-on-five short-handed goals when he beat New York Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist in a 5–2 win. [14] Six days later, on February 21, Richards became the first Flyer in team history[ citation needed ] to score a short-handed goal in three consecutive games and the first NHL player to do so since Joe Sakic in 1998. [15] He finished the season second in team scoring to Jeff Carter with 80 points to go with a League-leading seven shorthanded goals. [15]

Facing the Pittsburgh Penguins for the second consecutive year in the 2009 playoffs, Richards added five points in six games, but could not help the Flyers from being eliminated. After Richards' season ended, he was announced as a finalist for the Frank J. Selke Trophy, awarded to the NHL's top defensive forward, along with Pavel Datsyuk of the Detroit Red Wings and Ryan Kesler of the Vancouver Canucks. [15] 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 would have been Philadelphia's first individual player trophy since Eric Lindros won the Hart Memorial Trophy in 1995. Datsyuk won the vote 945 to 942 in the closest Selke Trophy race since its inception.

Richards (left) and Jeff Carter prior to a Flyers game during the 2008-09 season. MikeRichardsJeffCarter.JPG
Richards (left) and Jeff Carter prior to a Flyers game during the 2008–09 season.

The 2009–10 season started successfully for Richards, who scored 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. [16] 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. [17] [18]

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. [19] Accusations of team players drinking and partying excessively continued throughout the season, specifically with Richards and Jeff Carter. [19] 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." [19] He also told the Philadelphia Daily News that the drinking accusations were fabricated. [19] Following a loss to the Washington Capitals on January 17, 2010, Richards reportedly engaged in 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. [19] On February 1, 2010, Richards scored his 100th career NHL goal. [20] 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 overtime of Game 6 to the Chicago Blackhawks.

Richards scored 23 goals to go along with 43 assists during the 2010–11 season as the Flyers earned the second seed in the Eastern Conference, and played the Buffalo Sabres in the first round of the 2011 playoffs. After eliminating the Sabres in seven games, Richards and the Flyers were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in a four-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 draft pick. [21] [22] 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." [23] 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. [24] Jeff Carter was also traded, being sent to the Columbus Blue Jackets. Richards and Carter were reportedly traded due to their long contracts and to clear up cap space for Ilya Bryzgalov. [25] [26]

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 eight games during the season. He was later reunited with Carter on February 23, 2012, upon Carter's trade to the Kings from the Columbus 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, Richards won the Stanley Cup with the Kings, recording four goals and 11 assists in 20 playoff games. The following campaign, he recorded 32 points in the lockout-shortened 2012–13 season as the Kings would fail in their bid to repeat as Cup champions, losing to the eventual champion Chicago Blackhawks in the 2013 playoffs.

On June 13, 2014, Richards became a Stanley Cup champion for the second time when the Kings defeated the New York Rangers 3–2 in double overtime in Game 5.

On January 26, 2015, Richards was placed on waivers by the Kings. [27] [28] The next day, on January 27, Richards cleared waivers and joined the Kings' AHL affiliate, the Manchester Monarchs, [29] and after tallying 14 points in 16 games with the Monarchs, he was recalled by the Kings on March 22. [30]

On June 29, 2015, Kings General Manager Dean Lombardi announced that the club had exercised its right to terminate Richards's contract, which had five years remaining, for "a material breach of his Standard Player's Contract." [31] The termination resulted from an incident at the US-Canada border in which Royal Canadian Mounted Police arrested Richards for possession of oxycodone, a controlled substance, without a prescription. [32] Richards' 12-year, $69 million contract, which he had signed in 2008 while captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, had $22 million remaining on it when it was terminated. [33] [34] On August 10, it was announced that the National Hockey League Players' Association (NHLPA) had filed a grievance on behalf of Richards to contest the contract termination. [35] On October 9, 2015, the Kings announced they had reached a settlement with Richards thus making him a free agent.

Washington Capitals

On January 6, 2016, the Washington Capitals and Richards announced they had agreed to a one-year contract worth US $1,000,000. This came after Richards was cleared by the league to sign an NHL contract. [36]

International play

Medal record
Representing Flag of Canada (Pantone).svg  Canada
Ice hockey
Olympic Winter Games
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2010 Vancouver
World Junior Championships
Gold medal icon (G initial).svg 2005 United States
Silver medal icon (S initial).svg 2004 Finland

Richards made his international debut with Canada at the 2004 World Junior Championships in Finland. Despite a third period lead in the gold medal game, Canada lost to the United States 4–3.

The following year, Richards returned to the World Juniors as team captain and led Canada to its first gold medal at the tournament since 1997. Richards tallied five points in six games.

After Richards' rookie season with the Philadelphia Flyers, he was chosen to his first senior tournament with Canada at the 2006 World Championships. Richards scored five points in nine games, but Canada was defeated by Finland in the bronze medal game, failing to medal.

On December 30, 2009, Richards was selected to play as a member of Team Canada at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, British Columbia. [37] Richards helped lead Team Canada to an 8–0 victory over Norway in the first game of the tournament by scoring one goal on February 17, 2010. [38] He would go on to score a total of two goals and three assists in seven games, along with a +5 rating. [39] This included an important assist on the first goal by the Canadians in the gold medal game where he forced a turnover and fired a shot on goal; the rebound was scored by Jonathan Toews. The Canadians would ultimately win the game 3–2 in overtime, giving Richards an Olympic gold medal. [40]

Personal life

Richards was born in Kenora, Ontario, to parents Norm and Irene. [2] He has two brothers, Mark and Matt. [2]

Growing up, Mike Richards attended Beaver Brae Secondary School in Kenora, [41] until being drafted to the Kitchener Rangers, at which point he attended Eastwood Collegiate Institute in Kitchener. [2]


Career statistics

Regular season and playoffs

   Regular season   Playoffs
Season TeamLeagueGP G A Pts PIM GPGAPtsPIM
2001–02 Kitchener Rangers OHL 652038585240116
2002–03 Kitchener RangersOHL6737508799219182724
2003–04 Kitchener RangersOHL583653898210000
2004–05 Kitchener RangersOHL43223658751511172836
2004–05 Philadelphia Phantoms AHL 14781528
2005–06 Philadelphia Flyers NHL 791123346560110
2006–07 Philadelphia FlyersNHL5910223252
2007–08 Philadelphia FlyersNHL732847757617771410
2008–09 Philadelphia FlyersNHL793050806361456
2009–10 Philadelphia FlyersNHL8231316279237162318
2010–11 Philadelphia FlyersNHL81234366621116715
2011–12 Los Angeles Kings NHL7418264471204111517
2012–13 Los Angeles KingsNHL48122032421539128
2013–14 Los Angeles KingsNHL821130412826371017
2014–15 Manchester Monarchs AHL16311144
2014–15 Los Angeles KingsNHL535111639
2015–16 Washington Capitals NHL392358120004
NHL totals74918130648758513626618795


YearTeamEventResult GPGAPtsPIM
2004 Canada WJC Silver medal icon.svg62352
2005Canada WJC Gold medal icon.svg61452
2006Canada WC 4th932510
2010Canada OG Gold medal icon.svg72350
Junior totals1237104
Senior totals16551010

All-Star Games

YearLocation GAP
2008 Atlanta 011
All-Star totals011





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  34. Seravelli, Frank "Kings opt to terminate Richards's contract" TSN, June 29, 2015
  35. Canada (2015-08-10). "NHLPA files grievance on behalf of Mike Richards over contract termination". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  36. "Capitals agree to terms with Mike Richards". Washington Capitals . 2016-01-06. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
  37. Kanalley, Craig (2009-12-30). "Canadian Olympic Hockey Team: 2010 Roster Released". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
  38. Zupke, Curtis (2010-02-16). "Getzlaf, Perry score in Canada's 8–0 victory". Orange County Register . Archived from the original on 2010-02-19. Retrieved 2010-02-16.
  39. "Team Canada player statistics Vancouver 2010 Olympics". IOC. 2010-02-28. Archived from the original on 2010-02-28. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  40. Jimmy Bramlett (2010-02-28). "US Loses Gold To Canada in Overtime". laist.com. Archived from the original on 2010-03-02. Retrieved 2010-03-01.
  41. "Flyers' success is powerd by quiet captain Richards". Guelphmercury.com. 2011-03-03. Retrieved 2016-01-06.
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Jeff Carter
Philadelphia Flyers' first round draft pick
Succeeded by
Steve Downie
Preceded by
Simon Gagne
Winner of the Bobby Clarke Trophy
2008, 2009
Succeeded by
Chris Pronger
Preceded by
Jason Smith
Philadelphia Flyers captain
Succeeded by
Chris Pronger