At ESPN.com, Katie Strang wrote an article about Brad Richards and how throughout his career he has always been as big of a star off the ice as much as he has been on the ice.
An employee of the Lightning told “If there was a kid in the Tampa Bay area that was diagnosed with cancer, he knew their family. It was unbelievable.”
Holly Wade, whose son Daniel had a brain tumor, spoke glowingly of Richards “Hockey players can get a bad rap. People say, ‘Oh, they’re all 5-8, missing their front teeth and all they do is fight,’ but Brad was by far the most genuine, warm and caring individual that I’ve ever come across in any professional athlete.”
Wade’s son Daniel had a brain tumor but Richards was insistent on him coming to a game, which he did against the Flyers in the playoffs, and Wade has stayed in touch with Richards even after Daniel passed away in 2006.
In December of 2oo5, Wade told the SP Times, “He’s one of the warmest, most caring people I’ve ever met. I’d adopt him in a heartbeat.”
@BRichards_1991 Happy Anniversary to Erin "Mrs. Richards" Kisielewski, 10 years post chemo. Original #Richy's Rascals. Still loves you.— Donna Shotwell (@DonnaShotwell) December 28, 2012
A friend of Richards’ from Tampa told Joe O’Neill ““Richy’s got everything under the sun; he’s incredibly blessed. But there’s not one ounce of ego. A great guy who really does care about others.””
More on Richards and his suite from Tampa Bay, HERE and HERE.
Antoinette Figueroa sends in this story of when the Rangers were in Staten Island a few weeks ago.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy all I can do is sit in my house on Staten Island and think about the devastation that so many face and how I can give back to my community. I started by donating to the local charities and going to the hardest hit areas to deliver bottles and bottles of water to the people who have nothing. I decided to start raising money on my own so that I could feed those people and after tweeting to some of the Rangers players and writers I started to receive anonymous donations which in my heart I believe came from them.
With the donations I received I was able to set up a huge barbeque right in the middle of the hardest hit areas and at the very least provide a hot meal. I then saw that Brad Richards had organized a hockey clinic for kids around the corner from my house. I saw later on that Richards sent out a tweet about bartending at a bar in my old neighborhood. I jumped in the car and when I got there I expected to see Richards in a suit, leaving and not getting a chance to thank him for the great work he was doing. What I found though was the complete opposite! I walked in and saw Gabby, Hags and Emmy behind the bar pouring drinks. Eminger was pouring one for my dad but he didn’t know what he was doing so he just gave him a beer!
As I made my way through a tent I hear cheers for “Cally” and to my utter amusement it was actually Ryan Callahan. He was yelling “Cally” to my dad who was wearing his jersey! I can’t even describe the atmosphere as Richards, Cally and Girardi seemed like regular guys in a regular bar on a Friday night.
They were hard to get close to, as the place was packed, but once you could they were willing to chat, take pictures and just be real. At one point Cally started his own “asshole” chant to a women that walked in wearing a Devils jersey. I couldn’t believe what I was witnessing! All those angry anti-lockout feelings immediately disappeared and I truly realized what special people hockey players really are! This was the Rangers players as real as it gets and they were helping people out of the goodness of their heart. I heard that they raised $30,000 that night and because of that, hockey or no hockey, they will always have my utmost respect.
In the time shortly after Hurricane Sandy, Brad Richards organized a hockey clinic on Staten Island that raised $14,000 and saw his teammates Ryan Callahan, Anton Stralman, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Jeff Halpern, Taylor Pyatt, Steve Eminger, Carl Hagelin and Brian Boyle help out.
When asked about why the players decided to get involved with the recovery for Hurricane Sandy, Brad Richards said, Captain Ryan Callahan told SILive, “For us to come here and put some smiles on some people’s faces and raise some money, we’re happy to do it and glad we can.”
Richards added that this was a very easy thing to get involved, “We’re a tight-knit group. We live in a community and play in front of great fans and live in a great city, so it’s not too hard to make that decision to come out and do something like this.”
@AdamRotter gabby hags eminger Richards calli and Gerardi were all at the bar that night— antoinette figueroa (@angeluv226) November 20, 2012
@AdamRotter the bar thing was so awesome ! To get to see the guys in that environment with no restrictions from the team was great #classact— antoinette figueroa (@angeluv226) November 20, 2012
In the NY Times, Jeff Klein writes about Brad Richards and how the big role that he had taken in the community following Hurricane Sandy validates the Rangers faith in bringing in Richards to be a leader on and off the ice.
Richards reached out to Matt Long, who lost his house in the Hurricane, and went out to Breezy Point with Steve Eminger and Marian Gaborik gutting flood damaged houses with a crowbar and sledgehammer.
Richards told Long that he wanted no recognition for his work, saying “If someone knows who I am and I bring a smile to their face, great. If not, I’d rather make them smile just helping people.”
@AdamRotter brad is a gentleman ! He contacted me and we hit Rockaway and breezy point for two hard days of gutting and cleaning homes— Matt Long (@Mattslongrun) November 20, 2012
@AdamRotter no media no pats on the back just a friends helping out people in need. Emmy and gabby as well— Matt Long (@Mattslongrun) November 20, 2012
Richards said that the work he is doing is what anyone in his position would do.
Brad Richards’ charity hockey clinic in Staten Island is going on now and Katie Strang says that along with Richards is Ryan Callahan, Marian Gaborik, Brian Boyle, Marc Staal, Carl Hagelin, Dan Girardi, Steve Eminger, Taylor Pyatt, Jeff Halpern and Anton Stralman.
Strang tweets “Kids are going bananas, really cool event. Nice change of pace from the doom and gloom of Lockout-land”
Steve Zipay says that about 110 kids in total will be taking part in the event.
8:31PM: Panaccio says that the rosters are Hartnell, Richards, Ryan, Timonen, Dan Carcillo, JVR, Williams, Gagne, Braydon Coburn, Ville Leino, Steve Eminger, Jeff Halpern, Brian Boyle, Jody Shelley and James Neal.
So the Rangers participating are Richards, Eminger, Halpern and Boyle.
8:10AM: According to Tim Panaccio, Scott Hartnell is putting together a game next week in Atlantic City to benefit the victims of Hurricane Sandy.
The game will be at 7PM at the Boardwalk Hall.
Brad Richards is expected to be the captain of one of the teams.
Other NHLers playing in the game are Bobby Ryan, Kimmo Timonen, Simon Gagne, Justin Williams, James van Riemsdyk and more are expected to be announced.
More information will be posted when it becomes available.