Born and raised in Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island. Richards has been friends with Vincent Lecavalier since the age of 14, when they met at Athol Murray College of Notre Dame, a boarding school with an excellent hockey program in Saskatchewan, Canada. They were roommates and soon became good friends as they were both the youngest players on their hockey team. Since then they have gone on to being teammates for the Rimouski Océanic of the QMJHL and Tampa Bay Lightning. Lecavalier was also responsible for suggesting to the Lightning management after they had drafted him to draft Richards.
In his final season with Rimouski, Richards won nearly every honor possible for a Canadian junior player in the QMJHL: he earned the Jean Béliveau Trophy after leading the league with 186 points, as well as the Telus Cup, given to the league's best offensive player; he won the QMJHL and Canadian Hockey League Plus/Minus Awards with a plus-80 mark, and was a First-Team All-Star in both the Quebec circuit and the CHL, as well as the CHL Player of the Year and Leading Scorer. In the postseason, Richards took home both the Guy Lafleur Trophy as MVP of the 'Q' league playoffs, then the Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy as MVP of the Memorial Cup, as the Océanic won both the QMJHL playoff title and the CHL national championship.
Tampa Bay Lightning
Richards was drafted in the 3rd round, 64th overall, by the Tampa Bay Lightning in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, despite recording 82 assists and 115 points in his draft year. During that same draft, the Lightning selected Vincent Lecavalier, Richards' teammate at the both Athol Murray College of Notre Dame and Rimouski, with the first overall pick. Richards went on to win the Conn Smythe and the Lady Byng Trophies in 2004. He also won the Stanley Cup with the Lightning in 2004. Later that same year, he won the World Cup of Hockey Championship playing on Team Canada. Richards holds the record for game-winning goals in a single playoff season with seven in 2004, overtaking Joe Sakic's and Joe Nieuwendyk's record of six.
Richards played for Ak Bars Kazan in the Russian Super League during the 2004–05 NHL lockout on a team with fellow NHL'ers Ilya Kovalchuk, Alexei Kovalev, Vincent Lecavalier, Michael Nylander, Alexei Zhitnik, Dany Heatley, and Nikolai Khabibulin.
Richards played for Team Canada in the 2006 Olympics.
After the team was eliminated from the 2006 playoffs, Richards signed a 5-year contract with the Lightning worth $39 million (US).
Trade to Dallas Stars
On February 26, 2008, roughly 3 hours before the NHL trade deadline, Richards was traded to the Dallas Stars in a blockbuster deal along with goaltender Johan Holmqvist for goalie Mike Smith, centre Jeff Halpern, winger Jussi Jokinen and a 2009 4th round draft pick. Richards set a career high and made Stars franchise history by recording five assists in his first game as a Star. The Stars defeated the Blackhawks 7–4, and Richards was named the number one star of the game.
During the 2008–09 season, Richards tallied 16 goals and 48 points in 55 games before sustaining a broken right wrist following a check from Columbus Blue Jackets forward Jakub Voráček on February 16, 2009. Richards met with a specialist the following day and missed 15 games. Richards returned to the Dallas Stars lineup March 21, but the former playoff MVP then broke his other hand in the third period of Dallas' loss to San Jose Sharks. He would not return for the rest of the 2009 season, and the Stars missed the playoffs.
In the 2009-10 offseason, the team removed GMs Brett Hull and Les Jackson who had traded for Richards, and fired coach Dave Tippett who was replaced by Marc Crawford. Despite the new regime and the team's woeful finish in the standings for the second straight season, Richards enjoyed a career year matching a personal high with 91 points playing mainly alongside Loui Eriksson and roommate James Neal. Richards finished 7th in the NHL points standings that year, just behind former teammate Martin St. Louis. He also finished fourth in total assists, and second in powerplay production in the league. The Stars however would fail to reach the playoffs again. After the season, Richards was named a finalist for the Lady Byng Trophy.
On July 1st, 2011, the New York Rangers signed Richards to a 12 year contract worth $117 million.
During the offseason, he goes back to Prince Edward Island, his childhood home. Richards has hosted the Brad Richards PEI Celebrity Golf Classic for the past six years. The event supports two charities: Children’s Wish Foundation, Prince Edward Island Chapter and Autism Society of Prince Edward Island. He is friends with CBC's Hockey Night in Canada host Ron MacLean, who spends a lot of time in PEI.
Richards is also a well known wine aficionado and filmed a segment about wine tasting for nhl.com. Also a big football fan, he considers the Buffalo Bills as his favorite NFL team, though he grew up a Carolina Panthers fan.
Richards rented a suite at the St. Pete Times Forum for several Tampa Bay Lightning hockey games and invited families dealing with various forms of pediatric cancer to use it. After each game he would go and visit the children who had come to watch the game. It began during the 2002-2003 season and ended in 2008. When he was traded to the Dallas Stars he continued his charity work with the Children’s Medical Center’s Oncology Department, supplying tickets for sick children. He also donates tickets to every home game to men and women in the military.
Richards underwent arthoscopic hip surgery on April 23, 2010, to repair a small labrum tear. Rehabilitation from this surgery usually requires 8 weeks.
- 1999–2000: CHL Player of the Year
- 1999–2000: CHL Leading Scorer
- 1999–2000: CHL Plus/Minus Award Winner
- 1999–2000: CHL First All-Star Team
- 1999–2000: QMJHL Michel Brière Memorial Trophy (Most Valuable Player)
- 1999–2000: QMJHL Jean Béliveau Trophy (Leading scorer)
- 1999–2000: QMJHL Plus/Minus Award Winner
- 1999–2000: QMJHL Guy Lafleur Trophy (Playoff MVP)
- 1999–2000: QMJHL First All-Star Team
- 1999–2000: Memorial Cup Stafford Smythe Memorial Trophy (MVP)
- 1999–2000: Memorial Cup All-Star Team
- 2000–01: NHL All-Rookie Team
- 2001–02: NHL YoungStars Game participant
- 2003–04: NHL Stanley Cup
- 2003–04: NHL Conn Smythe Trophy (Playoff MVP)
- 2003–04: NHL Lady Byng Trophy (Sportsmanship)
|1996–97||Notre Dame Hounds||SJHL||63||39||48||87||—||73||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||82||21||41||62||-10||14||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||82||20||42||62||-18||13||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002–03||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||80||17||57||74||+3||24||11||0||5||5||-3||12|
|2003–04||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||82||26||53||79||+14||12||23||12||14||26||+5||4|
|2004–05||Ak Bars Kazan||RSL||6||2||5||7||+2||16||—||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||82||23||68||91||0||32||5||3||5||8||-5||6|
|2006–07||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||82||25||45||70||-19||23||6||3||5||8||-4||6|
|2007–08||Tampa Bay Lightning||NHL||62||18||33||51||-25||15||—||—||—||—||—||—|
Played for Canada in:
- 2000 World Junior Championships (bronze medal)
- 2001 World Championships
- 2004 World Cup of Hockey (gold medal)
- 2006 Winter Olympics (failed to medal)
|Senior int'l totals||19||6||8||14||6|
- ^ "Stars' Richards out indefinitely with a broken wrist". TSN. February 16, 2009. http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/teams/story/?id=267436&hubname=nhl-stars&lid=sublink02&lpos=headlines_nhl-stars.
- ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/nhl/news/story?id=4004286
- ^ http://espn.go.com/blog/dallasstars/post/_/id/1726/stars-richards-among-lady-byng-finalists
- ^ http://tsn.ca/nhl/id=16582
- ^ Foundation
- ^ http://video.nhl.com/videocenter/console?catid=0&id=20151
- ^ http://sports.espn.go.com/dallas/columns/story?columnist=durrett_richard&id=4604182
- ^ http://www.positiveimpactmagazine.com/athletesbradrichards.html
- ^ http://www.tsn.ca/nhl/story/?id=319288
- ^ "NHL star gives $500K to Charlottetown hospital". CBC.ca. http://www.cbc.ca/canada/prince-edward-island/story/2010/09/21/pei-richards-hospital-donation-584.html#socialcomments. Retrieved September 21, 2010.
|CHL Player of the Year
|Conn Smythe Trophy winner
|Lady Byng Memorial Trophy winner
|Date of birth||May 2, 1980|
|Place of birth||Murray Harbour, Prince Edward Island, CAN|
|Date of death|
|Place of death|
Name: Brad Richards