NEW YORK – Forward Brad Richards is retiring after 15 NHL seasons during which he established a reputation for offensive consistency and won two Stanley Cup championships.
Following one season with Detroit, the 36-year-old announced his retirement in a two-page release issued by the NHL Players’ Association on Wednesday.
From Prince Edward Island, Richards was a 10-time 20-goal scorer and finished with 298 goals and 634 assists for 932 points in 1,126 games in a career that included stops in Dallas and the New York Rangers.
Richards was voted the 2004 Conn Smythe trophy winner as playoff MVP in helping the Tampa Bay Lightning win the Stanley Cup. He led the playoffs with 26 points (12 goals, 14 assists), and set an NHL postseason record with seven game-winning goals.
Richards also won a title in 2015 during his one season with the Chicago Blackhawks.
He won the 2004 Lady Byng Memorial trophy for sportsmanship and gentlemanly play. And in 2001, Richards finished second behind goalie Evgeni Nabokov in the NHL’s rookie of the year vote.
In thanking his many teammates, coaches, trainers and fans, Richards called winning two championships as his two most unforgettable moments.
“I will never forget those moments,” Richards said. “Nothing compares to enjoying that night with your team and knowing what you have accomplished together.”
One of Richards’ teammates in Tampa Bay was Vincent Lecavalier, who announced his retirement last month after 17 NHL seasons.
Richards was selected by the Lightning in the third round of the 1998 NHL Draft. He made his NHL debut two years later, and after helping Rimouski Oceanic win consecutive Canadian Junior Memorial Cup titles.
He spent six-plus seasons in Tampa Bay before being traded to Dallas in 2007-08.
In the summer of 2011, Richards was regarded as the NHL’s top free-agent prize and made a splash in signing a nine-year, $60 million contract with the Rangers. He spent only three seasons in New York before the Rangers elected to buy out the remainder of his contract in June 2014, a week after the team lost the Stanley Cup Final in five games to Los Angeles.
Richards scored a career-best 28 goals with Dallas in 2010-11, and he twice totaled 91 points in 2005-06 with Tampa Bay and again four seasons later with Dallas.
IN FIVE EASY PIECES WITH TAKE 5