We had so much fun doing our Countdown to Faceoff series last season that we decided to do it again. In case you’re new to the series, we’ll do a roster preview as we count down the days until the Chicago Blackhawks raise their 6th Stanley Cup Banner on October 7th season opener against the New York Rangers.
Well, we had one season of former Conn Smythe Award winnerBrad Richards
on the Chicago Blackhawks roster, and he left a Two-Time Stanley Cup Champion and with one of the better highlights that people will never forget when he slid the puck toPatrick Kane
for the goal that sealed the Chicago Blackhawks 6th Stanley Cup title, and their third in 6 seasons.
Brad Richards didn’t exactly light up the scoresheet for the entire season, but for the month of December when Richards was with a healthy Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg they dominated the month and was a very good 2nd line for Joel Quenneville until Versteeg broke his wrist outdoors on Nationals Field during the Winter Classic.
Game Winning Goals-3
Brad Richards also looked fresher and faster than I would have imagined in the playoffs which was partly created when the Chicago Blackhawks swept the Minnesota Wild in the 2nd round which gave the Hawks a 9 day break in the middle of the playoffs which was perfect for veterans like Richards and Marian Hossa.
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Richards was thought to be a possible hometown discount player right after the Stanley Cup win, but it was apparent he wanted something in concrete right away instead of waiting around for the Chicago Blackhawks to pull the trigger on a trade so he opted to sign with the Detroit Red Wings. The Richard signing was a success in my books.
In our countdown last season we had Bryan Bickell #91 of the all-time greatest Blackhawks. Let’s be honest this wasn’t his best season, and he didn’t turn into playoff Bickell either. Bickell will have his name on the Stanley Cup for the 2nd time so there’s that, and here is what we said last year about #29.
"Bryan Bickell Career Stats (2004 2nd Round Selection 41st overall)Regular SeasonGames-279Goals-51Assists-54+13Game Winning Goals-7Post SeasonGames-57Goals-20Assists-14+18Game Winning Goals-3Let’s be real honest here Bryan Bickell doesn’t make any list about any Blackhawk for his regular season exploits. Bickell seems to get lost during the regular which is why he sometimes finds himself in the pressbox. Last season’s regular season crapfest appeared to be injury related, but it’s still a Blackhawks mystery that Bickell is a 6’4″ Power Forward that appears to be skating in Disney on Ice during the regular season. His best regular season may have been in 2013 when he played on a regular line withAndrew Shaw and Viktor Stalberg and even then he only managed 9 goals and 14 assists. Last season he was up and down the lineup and never found his groove.The postseason is why Bickell is on this list, because like a super hero he transforms into a different player, a power forward that the Hawks look for on a nightly basis. Bickell throws his body around, parks himself in front of the net, and becomes a scoring machine. Bickell along with Jonathan Toews are the only Hawks to score 2 or more goals in each playoff season since 2011, and he has two playoff overtime winners in his career.Bickell still has three years left with the Hawks for $4 million a season, and lots of time to become a bigger Playoff legend, but we would like just a small glimpse of playoff Bickell during the regular season. Bickell finds himself at #91 in our countdown on playoff strength alone."
Only 91 days until the 2015 Stanley Cup banner is raised at the United Center!! What will be your memories of Brad Richards time in Chicago?
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