Brad Richards is hanging up the skates and calling it a career.
The veteran forward announced on Wednesday afternoon that he is retiring from the NHL after a 15-year career that saw him play in 1,126 regular season games for the Tampa Bay Lightning, Dallas Stars, New York Rangers, Chicago Blackhawks and Detroit Red Wings.
Richards, 36, spent the 2015-16 season with the Red Wings where he scored 10 goals and added 18 assists in 68 games.
TSN’s Darren Dreger mentioned shortly after the announcement that Richards had an offer from a good team this summer but instead decided to retire.
His retirement was announced by the NHLPA and included the following statement from Richards:
“I want to thank the fans and the five organizations I have played for: Tampa Bay, Dallas, and the three original six teams — the New York Rangers, Chicago, and Detroit. During my time with those teams I met many great people,” said Richards.
“I also want to thank the staff and management in those organizations for all the help and support they gave me. I appreciate all the trainers who did tireless work to help me play and keep me healthy.
“I had many amazing teammates and made many great friendships along the way that I truly appreciate, and I will never forget the great times we had together. Thank you to all my coaches for pushing, teaching and giving me the opportunity to play this great game. Winning the Stanley Cups in Tampa Bay and Chicago was the best part of my career and I will never forget those moments. Nothing compares to enjoying that night with your team and knowing what you have accomplished together.”
Drafted by the Lightning in the third round of the 1998 draft (the same year they took Vincent Lecavalier No. 1 overall), Richards would go on to be a core part of the organization for six-and-a-half seasons and was a significant contributor to the 2004 Stanley Cup winning team. For a good five-year stretch in the middle of his career he was one of the best passers in the NHL.
His best season came in 2005-06 when he topped the 90-point mark.
He would go on to win a second Stanley Cup as a member of the Blackhawks during the 2013-14 season after he signing with the team as a free agent. He was bought out by the New York Rangers earlier that summer just three years after signing a massive free agent contract.
He finishes his career with 298 goals, 634 assists and 932 points.