Ex-teammates wish Richards well in return to Dallas
NOV 21, 2013 1:21p ET
That talented quartet is current Dallas captain Jamie Benn, defenseman Trevor Daley, No.1 goaltender Kari Lehtonen and veteran blue liner Stephane Robidas. All remember their time skating alongside Richards well and are definitely looking forward to seeing their former teammate again on Thursday night at the AAC.
Richards of course came to Dallas in a blockbuster trade with Tampa Bay in Feb. 2008. He remained with the Stars until after the 2010-11 season, the final year of the Marc Crawford era, when he was a free agent. With the club's ownership situation uncertain at that time, No. 91 signed a nine-year deal with the Rangers but thanks to last year's lockout, has yet to return to Dallas with his new employer.
But among his former Dallas teammates, he remains a beloved figure. Here's what three of those players said about the man known as Richie:
Stars Captain Jamie Benn
"I'm sure he's going to be pretty excited. He was a big influence on my game when I first came in. He was a player I looked up to and obviously he did some pretty special things and he had some good years. So I'm sure it's going to be exciting for him and I'm sure he looks forward to it."
Stars Defenseman Trevor Daley
"Richie, he was a great player for us. It was kind of sad to see him go because nobody wanted him to go and how he did leave wasn't the way we wanted it. But we wished him all the best and we still keep in a little bit of contact with him and hope all the best for him."
On if it's hard to believe it's been two years since Richards was a Star
"Yeah, it's crazy, yeah. It's been a while. It feels like it was just yesterday. He's still a great player and he's going to be a guy that we're going to have to key on tomorrow night. To be able to beat them, we're going to have to shut him down. So we're looking forward to the challenge of playing against him for the first time."
Stars Defenseman Stephane Robidas
"Yeah, he was a real good player for this organization. We had some good times together. We had that good playoff run that one year. It's been a while since he left. Most of the guys that played with him are all gone too. The team has changed a lot since he's left, so it's different than if you come back the year after. Obviously, it'll probably be special a bit for him, but at the same time he wasn't here for like an extended period of time. But he was a good player. He was a good teammate. I had the chance to see him last year in New York for the PA (Player's Association) meeting. He was there and seems to enjoy himself over there in New York."
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