Despite having a refreshingly productive 09-10 season in which he racked up 91 points despite the fact that the Dallas Stars missed the playoffs, it’s difficult to escape contract talk with Brad Richards. He signed a bloated five-year, $39 million deal after he won the Conn Smythe during the Tampa Bay’s catching-Lightning-in-a-bottle Cup run, which makes his $7.8 million annual cap hit just short of the Sidney Crosby/Evgeni Malkin zone. Whichever way you slice it, Richards fell short of his salary over the course of this contract.
Luckily, Richards is doing the right thing with his gobs of money and isn’t falling short of being a good human being. The Guardian reports that the playmaking center donated $500K to help children at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in his home province.
Following the Dallas Stars’ training camp in Charlottetown on the weekend, Murray Harbour’s Brad Richards stopped in to visit the pediatric unit of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where he made a donation of $500,000 to help children in his home province.
During the event, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital Foundation formally announced the establishment of a Brad Richards Named Endowment to help purchase medical equipment to help children.
Richard’s gift was made in honour of his cousin and best friend, Jamie Reynolds, who passed away in 1989 with a brain tumour when he was seven years old and Richards was almost nine. On hand for the emotional announcement were members of the Richards and Reynolds family along with many of the pediatric nurses who cared for Jamie.
Richards says he had been waiting a long time to properly honour his cousin Jamie in his home province.
Wow, that’s a heart breaking story, but also a great example of the generosity hockey players display which often slips under the radar. Kudos to Richards for handing out such a huge sum of money to a cause that is near and dear to him.
With 2010-11 being the final year of that big deal he originally signed with the Lightning, maybe he can earn another big deal … and make another huge donation.It’s pretty hard to root against Brad Richards after reading this story.
The San Jose Sharks became the only team in the second round to jump out to a 2-0 lead in their series. The Sharks did it by beating the Predators 3-2 in Game 2 on Sunday night.
San Jose opened the scoring in the second period when Logan Couture buried a rebound by Preds goalie Pekka Rinne. Brent Burns took the initial shot from the point and extended his playoff point streak to four games.
The Predators finally got on the board at the 12:56 mark of the third period when Mattias Ekholm tied the game at one.
Here’s the goal:
Nashville’s good fortune didn’t last very long. Sharks captain Joe Pavelski gave San Jose a 2-1 lead less than five minutes later.
Pavelski also picked up two assists in the game. The 31-year-old has at least one point in six of his seven postseason games in 2016.
Joe Thornton then added an empty-netter in the final minute of play before Ryan Johansen scored with four seconds remaining.
Despite the loss, Preds head coach Peter Laviolette wasn’t too disappointed by the way his team played.
The Predators outshot the Sharks (39-25), they outhit San Jose (46-26), but they just couldn’t outscore them.
Like the old saying goes: “you’re not in trouble until you lose a game on home ice.” The Preds still haven’t done that, which means they’re not done yet.
The series now shifts to Nashville for Game 3, which will be played on Tuesday night.
It’s a scary night for players getting hit in the head with pucks.
After Brian Elliott was hit in the head by a Jason Spezza slapshot, it was Marc-Edouard Vlasic‘s turn to narrowly avoid disaster.
In the third period of Sunday’s game against the Predators, Vlasic took a puck to the face. The end result could have been catastrophic had Vlasic not had a visor.
You can see the incident by clicking the video at the top of the page.
It’s nice to see that Vlasic was in a joking mood after the game:
Hockey Twitter breathed a collective sigh of relief after Vlasic got back up:
You’ve all seen it by now (if you haven’t, click the video at the top of page). Penguins defenseman Olli Maatta was forced to leave Game 2 against the Capitals after taking a late hit from Brooks Orpik. Not only was the hit late, but Orpik also caught Maatta in the head.
After the Penguins’ optional skate on Sunday, Penguins head coach Mike Sullivan wasn’t optimistic about Maatta’s chances of playing in Game 3 on Monday night.
“Olli’s being evaluated as we speak, so I don’t have any real update as far as his status is concerned,” Sullivan said, per the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. “He’s being evaluated today, we’ll probably have more information in the morning.
“I don’t have a lot of sense of his availability. I’m probably not optimistic, though.”
After the game, Capitals coach Barry Trotz stood up for his defenseman.
“We’ll let the league handle it,” Trotz said, per CSN Mid-Atlantic. “If you know anything about Brooks, he plays hard, he plays clean. He’s not a dirty player.”
And the league certainly did handle it, as they suspended Orpik for three games.
—Penguins coach takes issue with late, high Orpik hit on Maatta
Brooks Orpik has been suspended for three games for his hit on Olli Maatta (top). The Caps defenseman will be forced to miss Games 3, 4 and 5 of the best-of-seven series against the Penguins.
Orpik delivered a late, high hit to Maatta in Game 2. The Penguins defenseman was wobbly getting off the ice and he was unable to return to the game.
Here’s how the Department of Players Safety saw the play:
“Orpik steps up to pressure Bonino, who quickly moves the puck to Maatta. Orpik peels off Bonino to pressure Maatta, who releases a shot from the top of the circle. The two continue on their path toward the goal line, as the puck is kicked into the slot. A full second after Maatta releases the puck, Orpik delivers a high, forceful hit making significant head contact. This is interference.”
To watch the NHL’s Department of Player Safety’s full explanation, click the video below.
This is the third time Orpik’s been suspended in his NHL career.