Former Flyers captain Mike Richards is back in Philadelphia, only this time he’s going to be suiting up in the opponents locker room as part of a team with Stanley Cup hopes. Richards’ trade in the offseason to Los Angeles from Philly came as a shock, but seeing him come back now so early in the season (Saturday at 7 p.m.) with his new team is a bit of a switch for the guys in Philly, including the guy he was traded for in Wayne Simmonds.
Sam Carchidi of Broad St. Bull talked with the current Flyers to get their take on Richards’ return and Scott Hartnell had the most fun with it.
“It’s good to see a good buddy that we had a lot of laughs with,” he said. “….I’m sure we’ll have a couple on the ice (Saturday), but when push comes to shove, he’ll be rolling over me to get the puck in the corner and I’ll be doing the same to him.”
Hartnell said it took Richards a while to “wrap his head around” the trade, but that he has accepted it and his mind “is in a good place now.”
These meetings are always a little awkward and even more so when they happen early in the season. New guys are still getting used to life with their new teams and those team bonds aren’t always formed right away.
In Richards’ case, playing in Philly gives the Flyers fans the chance to either show appreciation for his time in Philly, or give him the standard visiting player salute. Maybe Flyers fans will show their respect by booing him but holding off on throwing batteries.