Hockey Fan Forums banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
26,388 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Canadian Press
Dec 12, 2006, 4:47 PM EST

TORONTO (CP) - The visitors' dressing room at Air Canada Centre was packed Tuesday as the massive Toronto media contingent got their pound of flesh from red-hot Tampa Bay Lightning stars Vincent Lecavalier and Martin St. Louis.

Brad Richards, meanwhile, was available for a one-on-one interview, which was a subtle but yet telling sign of how things have been going for him this season. It's not that he's having a bad year, far from it, but the 26-year-old star centre from Murray Harbour, P.E.I., expects more than the 25 points (11-14) in 30 games he carried into Tuesday night's meeting the Maple Leafs.

"Well it hasn't been that great at all," Richards said of his season. "Very inconsistent right now. The good thing is, I know there's a lot more there and I know I'll find it and get more consistent and that will also help this team. I'm working on that every day and trying to find it."

One of the things that makes Richards such a likeable guy is his honesty. Most players in his position would try to paint a different picture, blame other factors, but not him. It's why he's a leader in the Lightning dressing room and why it's a good bet he'll be turning things around.

"He's always been a slow starter, I'm not concerned," said his agent Pat Morris of Newport Sports. "He's contributed, wants to contribute more and will contribute more. ...

"Brad Richards has gotten better, statistically, every year that he's played," added Morris. "I'd be optimistic that he'll be that improved player, statistically, again. But you are measured by what you make and he wants to do better. You know what? Given what his history has been, he will be better as the season goes on."

Richards led the Lightning last season with a career-high 91 points (23-68) in 82 games and also led them with eight playoff points (3-5) in their five-game, first-round loss to the Ottawa Senators.

All of which landed him a whopper of a new deal, US$39 million over five years, the team's highest-paid player at $7.8 million per season.

Is the contract weighing on him?

"It creeps into your mind sometimes when things aren't going well," admitted Richards. "I think it adds a microscope ... sometimes when your game is going all right but you're not getting done what you need accomplished, sometimes it gets overblown because the expectations are higher. That's fine. I'm not trying to hide from that. It's something I knew going into that contract.

"We're only two months into it, there's lots of time to right this ship and I plan on doing that."

Fact is, said Richards, contract or no contract, he's never roared out of the gates in his six-year NHL career.

"It seems like I've been doing this every year, since my rookie year, struggling through the first couple of months," said the 2004 Conn Smythe Trophy winner. "It's frustrating. But hopefully it's going to turn soon."

Lightning head coach John Tortorella says he's not worried.

FULL STORY
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,041 Posts
It's almost what Martin St Louis was going through last season after landing a huge contract after a career year. Then the next season he wasn't putting up the same points as he was the year before. I just hope it isn't the same as what happened to St Louis and it doesn't take a whole season for Richards to get over the pressure of his contract and he starts to rack up the points.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,455 Posts
I really don't think Richards isn't that good of a player. I doubt he'll ever score more than 30 goals in a season and if he does it won't be by much. Also a career minus 17, although he's improved as the club has and is a decent option but not worth the contract he's trying to live up to.

IMO, Vinny and Marty and on a whole different level than Richards.
 
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
Top