Brad Richards, veteran of 15 NHL seasons, announced his retirement from hockey at age 36 on Wednesday.
Richards played 1,126 NHL games with the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings. In that time he captured two Stanley Cups, a Conn Smythe trophy, 298 goals and 932 points. He also won the Lady Byng trophy in 2004, a bronze medal at the World Junior Championship in 2000 and a gold medal at the World Cup of Hockey in 2004.
“I want to thank the fans and the five organizations I have played for: Tampa Bay, Dallas, and the three original six teams — the New York Rangers, Chicago and Detroit. During my time with those teams I met many great people,” Richards wrote in a statement. “I also want to thank the staff and management in those organizations for all the help and support they gave me. I appreciate all the trainers who did tireless work to help me play and keep me healthy. I had many amazing teammates and made many great friendships along the way that I truly appreciate, and I will never forget the great times we had together.
“Thank you to all my coaches for pushing, teaching and giving me the opportunity to play this great game. Winning the Stanley Cups in Tampa Bay and Chicago was the best part of my career and I will never forget those moments. Nothing compares to enjoying that night with your team and knowing what you have accomplished together.”
Vinny Lecavalier and Brad Richards, teammates and roommates at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame pic.twitter.com/YvybfZV5xG
— Jen (@NHLhistorygirl) July 20, 2016
Even early in his career, he was a decorated player. During his junior career, he helped Rimouski Oceanic win a QMJHL title and the Memorial Cup. That season he also won CHL MVP and the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as the MVP of the 2000 Memorial Cup.
Drafted 64th overall in 2008, he rose well above expectations, having an immediate impact for the Lightning. In his rookie season, he finished second in Calder voting after scoring 21 goals and 62 points in 82 games. He lost a close vote to Evgeni Nabokov.
— Hockey Canada (@HockeyCanada) July 20, 2016
It was only a few years later that he helped the Lightning win the franchise’s first Stanley Cup, a run in which he set an NHL record with seven game-winning goals en route to a Conn Smythe Trophy. He also led the postseason that year with 26 points in 23 contests.
He’ll retire with ranking 101st all-time in NHL points, which was 13th among active players.
“Most importantly,” his statement continues, “I want to thank my mom (Delite) and dad (Glen) and my sister (Paige) for being behind me since I was a young child. And of course, my wife, Rechelle and son, Luca, now for making this decision easier because I will be able to spend more time with them.”
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.