From the moment Brad Richards was signed, just 12 short hours before the deadline last July, until his blades first graced NHL ice this fall, there was a frenzy surrounding the rookie. The media raved about the Prince Edward Island native, fans lusted over the potential of the young Rimouski superstar and cup dreams in Tampa Bay became more vivid. The high-held belief was that Richards, along with Captain and junior linemate Vincent Lecavalier, would be the one-two punch needed to send the Lightning into its’ second playoff berth in their 9-year existence. It was soon realized that Richards and Lecavalier could not carry the weight of the team alone, as the Bolts lost 8 of their first 11 games.
Richards did not let the Lightning’s misfortunes hold him back. He finished the month of October with 11 points in 10 games, earning himself NHL Rookie of the Month honors. Although his play slacked soon after, Richards has still managed to establish himself as one of the top rookies in the league. He is currently leading all NHL rookies in goals scored, assists, total points and power play points. Richards is also tied with winger Fredrik Modin for the team scoring lead, with 35 points.
Richards is in a tight race with San Jose goaltender Evgeni Nabokov for the Calder Trophy. In 37 games, Nabokov has a 2.05 GAA and a .922 save percentage, tough competition. Due to an injury to Lecavalier, Richards should see his ice time significantly increase, as well as his scoring chances. Hopefully, this will be the break Richards needs to catch the attention of the league a Read more»