Brad Richards has officially announced his retirement through the NHLPA today. Drafted in 1998 in the 3rd round, 64th overall by the Tampa Bay Lightning, Richards was an important piece of the puzzle on the way to winning the franchise’s first Stanley Cup in 2004. He added to that accomplishment by winning the Lady Byng sportsmanship trophy and the Conn Smythe trophy as Playoff MVP.
Including playoff games, Richards appeared in 596 games for the Lightning and contributed 168 goals and 353 assists for 521 career points. He retires at fourth on the career goal and points list for the Lightning with 150 goals and 489 points in the regular season. He also ranks third in assists with 339.
Unfortunately, money would become an issue in trying to keep Richards and he was traded to the Dallas Stars during the 2007-08 season at the deadline.
Since leaving the Lightning, Richards has spent time with the Stars, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks, and most recently with the Detroit Red Wings. With his retirement official, his last NHL game played will stand as Game 5 of the 2015-16 playoffs against the Tampa Bay Lightning in Amalie Arena; the same place he lifted the Cup so many years ago and only a year removed from lifting the Cup with Chicago.
Richards was and will remain a pivotal player in Lightning franchise history. He was one of the best to play and one of the best people to spend time in Tampa Bay. We wish him and his family the best of luck as he transitions to retirement. May it be happy, healthy, and full of fun.
Thank you Brad!