Nearly one month after his former Tampa Bay and Team Canada teammate Vincent Lecavalier retired from pro hockey, power forward Brad Richards today announced his NHL career would conclude after spending his final season in Detroit.
A 1998 draft pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning, Richards joined the team in 2000, helping bolster the team’s standing (and popularity) with fellow Lightning stars Lecavalier and Martin St-Louis, leading Tampa to their first Stanley Cup in 2004, winning the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP with 26 points. Richards would also take home the Lady Byng Trophy in 2004 for sportsmanship. Richards would spend three more seasons with Tampa before being traded to Dallas, playing shorter stints with the Stars, Rangers, Blackhawks and Red Wings, winning his second Stanley Cup with Chicago in 2015. Richards played in one NHL All Star Game in 2011.
Similar to Lecavalier, Richards’ tenure in Tampa meant the playoffs often interfered with international hockey, making him available only for the 2001 World Championships. Along with Lightning teammates Lecavalier and St-Louis, Richards backed a powerful line for Canada at the 2004 World Cup, helping Canada go undefeated en route to their first World Cup title. Richards would play once more for Team Canada, at the 2006 Olympic Games in Turin.
Richards won his first and only IHLC in a 2004 World Cup exhibition game, followed with eight consecutive wins, leading to Gold, and, like Lecavalier, technically retiring undefeated with the IHLC! We wish Brad and his family the very best for his retirement and the things to come!